Pay hike bill for officials clears panel
From staff and wire reports
Feb. 6, 2002
JACKSON Legislation to raise pay for most elected statewide officials, judges and appointed public officeholders cleared the budget-writing Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
The bill, which earlier passed the Senate Fees and Salaries Committee, now heads to the full Senate. State senators could vote on the issue as early as today.
The pay raise proposal comes at the same time lawmakers are grappling with a weak state economy and budget cuts for public education.
The Senate bill would not raise the pay for the governor or members of the Legislature. The Mississippi Constitution bans any pay increase for a sitting governor.
Elected and appointed public officials in Mississippi have not received pay raises in five years.
In the state House, Rep. John Reeves, R-Jackson, chairman of the House Fees and Salaries Committee, said he would not consider pay raises while the state is struggling with budget problems.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jack Gordon, D-Okolona, said district attorneys would get a boost of about $10,000 annually while most judges would see a $7,500 extra a year.
I think everybody will be happy,'' Gordon told members of his committee.
Bills addressing salary increases for some county officials are being addressed separately, lawmakers said.
Some opposition to the pay raise proposal is expected in the Senate.
It's an outrage,'' said Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, a staunch supporter of public education.