Bill voiding Birmingham Council’s 233 percent pay increase becomes law

Birmingham City Council

Legislation blocking a 233 percent pay raise for the Birmingham City Council was enacted into law on Friday.

In 2015, the Birmingham City Council voted to raise the salary of its own council members without public notice, from $15,000 to $50,000, a 233 percent increase. The raise was scheduled to go into effect in August 2017, following the municipal elections.

However Vestavia Hills-Republican Senator Jabo Waggoner took issue with what he considered an abuse of authority and sponsored  SB247 to correct the Council’s decision. His bill would instead set council members salary every four-years by the State Personnel Board by determining the median household income of the city.

“They’re a creature of the legislature and if they’re not going to conduct themselves and control their pay in a reasonable manner then we feel like we have to step in,” Waggoner told ABC 33/40.

The state Legislature approved the measure earlier this month, and the bill was sent to Gov. Kay Ivey for approval. On Friday she forwarded the bill to the Secretary of State’s Office where it was enacted without her signature.

All’s not lost for Council members. Under the new law, they will still enjoy a pay raise, as the Birmginham medium income is roughly $32,000 — making for a $17,000 increase for the new Council.