Senate committee votes to give insurance to Alabama legislatorsRead the rest
By PHILLIP RAWLS
Associated Press Writer
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- Sen. E.B. McClain has started a new push to provide state-paid health insurance for legislators, and he has the support of a key Senate committee.
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee voted 8-5 for McClain's bill that would have the state pay the full cost of health insurance for legislators and the lieutenant governor.
Currently, legislators and the lieutenant governor can participate in the state government's health insurance program, but they must pay the full cost.
McClain's bill would let legislators and the lieutenant governor pay to have their family members covered.
"They will be treated the same as state employees," he said.
Legislative fiscal experts estimated the cost for the state at $1.3 million annually.
Sen. Trip Pittman, R-Daphne, and Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, questioned the timing of the bill during a lean budget year for the state and one year after the Legislature gave itself a 61 percent raise.
I covered this story when it broke last year. My feelings have only gotten stronger since then.
Last year our governing body voted themselves a 61% pay increase, without voter consent...or even a recorded vote, and then turned out the lights and went home. But, not before this bill was snuck in.
Since, I last reported on this story my family's health insurance costs have risen by $40 a month. We now pay $97 a week on a budget much smaller than Senator McClain or any other member of the governing body is working with.
Considering all the money he paid himself as a consultant for non-profit groups he had the legislature funnel money to, combined with his nice $60,000 + salary as a legislator, plus whatever he brings in from any other work he does, you'd think he could afford the very best health insurance there is.
But no. He wants Alabama citizens, who are struggling to put enough gas in their cars to get to and from work and still be able afford the basic needs of their families...many of who themselves do not have health insurance to fork out some more cash to cover the poor, skinny government pigs at the Alabama government welfare trough.
I've had enough of this! It's time to show up in Montgomery, Alabama in mass numbers and put a stop to this outrageous robbery, gluttony and government run amok! I am sick to death of being robbed!
Who's with me?