Understanding the Amendments: Amendment 8, Legislative Pay

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(WHNT) - Making our way through these amendments, they all pretty much have one thing in common. They're all pretty complicated.

But Amendment Eight stands out - because it is attempting to make government easier to understand.

"It simplifies legislative compensation," says WHNT News 19 Political Analyst Dr. Jess Brown.

Amendment Eight sets legislative pay at the same rate as Alabama's median household income.  It also cuts the pay of legislators.

"It will actually have the effect of reducing the income for the typical current legislator, that they'll get around $42,000 dollars a year, something like that," said Dr. Brown.

Under the new amendment, legislators would only get a pay raise if they successfully raised the median income of Alabama families.

Dr. Brown says it's a simple system, especially compared to how their income gets calculated now.

"Part of their compensation is we pay for what would have been estimated in 1901 as one round trip per session from their home to Montgomery and back.  Oh yeah, the current system is just a mish-mash of things they pieced together over the years."

Amendment Eight seeks cut through the mish-mash in favor of a straightforward formula: Legislator Pay = Alabama's Median Household Income.

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