First on 33/40: Bill voiding Birmingham Council’s 233 percent pay raise becomes law

Birmingham City Council discusses taxes and travel expenses during a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. (

The 233 percent pay raise Birmingham Council approved in 2015 will not take effect in August, as council had voted for. The council voted to raise the salary for their positions, beginning after the August election.

Senator Jabo Waggoner (R- Vestavia Hills) sponsored the bill that voids the 233 percent raise and instead ties the council’s salary to the city’s median household income, which is about $32,000. It will still be a significant raise for the position, which currently has a salary set at $15,000.

The legislature approved the bill May 4. Governor Kay Ivey sent the bill unsigned to the Secretary of State’s office, which received the bill Friday. The move allows the governor to stay out of a local matter while allowing it to become law.

As ABC 33/40 reported in 2015, the 233 percent raise was passed without public debate and without public notice. The item was placed as an addendum on the agenda the same morning of the meeting. It was voted on in about one minute, while media members were in the hallway for a check presentation.

"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 in a previous story about the raise.

ABC 33/40 reached out to Council President Johnathan Austin, who wanted to read the law before commenting.

Birmingham council and mayoral elections are scheduled for August 22, 2017.

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