MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley is using the first day of the legislative session to propose a 4-percent pay raise for state employees, a figure that immediately drew skepticism from some lawmakers over whether the state could afford it.
Finance Director Clinton Carter announced the proposed raise during budget presentations Tuesday. The raise would cost the state general fund a projected $19 million.
Rep. Steve Clouse, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said he did not think the state had the funds to maintain the raise in future years and fully fund employees’ insurance. Carter told lawmakers he believed it was doable.
Lawmakers returned to Montgomery on Tuesday to start the session. Major issues before them also include Bentley’s $800 million prison construction proposal and court-ordered redistricting.