MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Top Alabama lawmakers said pay raises for teachers and state employees may not happen this year given the impact COVID-19 is having on the state’s economy.
Earlier this year, Gov. Kay Ivey proposed pay raises for teachers and state workers, but with the economy reacting to COVID-19, those raises are in jeopardy.
“With the uncertainty in the economy at this point, we can’t justify any kind of pay raises any changes of commitments of revenues,” said Sen. Del Marsh, R-Anniston.
Sen. Marsh says the education and general fund budgets will be similar to last year, minus the increases.
“I mean, I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but I think it would be irresponsible with economic situation uncertainty worrying to put any increases on either budget,” Marsh said.
Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton agrees when it comes to uncertainly on pay raises.
“I think it’s a reality,” Singleton said. “We have to look at the times that we’re in. Surely we want to see rates raises as we basically projected prior to leaving here, but the reality is that this economy is taking a hit.
We spoke with Richard Franklin, an educator about the possibility of not getting the pay raises.
“We understand that the state has been hard, but I also think it’s premature to just say educators not getting a raise, I think is Alabamians. the best thing to do is hear the total financial campaign,” Franklin said.
The Governor’s Office released a statements regarding the pay raises:
“With the uncertain and challenging times that we are facing, unfortunately, it is not likely that we will see the pay raises for education employees and state employees that the governor originally proposed. She will continue to stay closely engaged with the members of the Legislature as this situation evolves. Our pay raises rely heavily on sales and use taxes. We will not have a true indication of where our budgets will stand until after July 15th, which is the new state and federal tax filing date. She maintains that during the remainder of this Session, she will sign a responsible, slimmed-down budget, but if we have a better budget collection than expected, she can call a special session to allocate additional funds,” Gina Maiola.Office of Gov. Kay Ivey