Senate Bonuses

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Salary bonuses for the state Senate staff, which have ranged up to $15,000 annually, will end Sept.30.

Mobile State Senator Vivian Davis Figures said Senate members of the Legislature Council agreed Thursday to stop the bonuses at the end of the fiscal year.

Some senators provided bonuses to their secretaries and committee clerks out of state funds allocated to the senators' offices.

Figures, who spearheaded the effort to design a new pay system, said the bonuses had caused a morale problem. Senate employees were unclear on why some workers got them and some didn't. She said the bonuses appeared to go to employees who worked for members of the majority party.

A pay system that takes effect with the start of the new fiscal year Oct. 1 will base a secretary or committee clerk's pay on years of experience at the Senate.

The pay will range from nearly $30,000 annually for a beginning employee to more than $60,000 for someone who worked for the president pro tem of the Senate and had 25 years of experience.