Rep. Todd highlights the pay raise vote, discussion of a bill that would penalize state contractors who hire illegal immigrants, and her proposed minimum wage bill:
Yesterday was the countdown vote on the legislative pay raise and I again voted in opposition to this pay increase. The resolution to overturn the Governor’s veto subsequently passed thereby increasing legislative pay. I could not vote in favor of this pay raise when so many residents of House District 54 live in poverty. Hopefully with this vote behind us the Legislature can now get onto the business of helping the citizens of our state.
On Tuesday, we also considered a bill that would penalize state contractors who hire illigal immigrants. The bill was amended about 4 times and we ended the day asking the interested party to clean up the bill and present it to us on Thursday. There is strong support for the bill, but some of the language was too vauge to stand up in court. I am supportive of this bill but want a bill that clearly defines enforcement and punishments. There has been so much discussion about the illegal immigration problem and many states have been waiting for Congress to act, but they have not passed any meaningful legislation to date. I have always believed that companies (especially those who are getting money from the state government) should not be hiring illegal immigrants…but enforcement is an issue. Who is going to go to jobsites and review employment records? What if the employer didn’t know the employee was illegal (fake paperwork, etc.)? These issues need to be resolved before the House can act on the bill.
Next week I will be holding a press conference on the Alabama Minimum Wage Law bill that I have sponsored. The bill is currently in the Commerce Committee and the Chair told me this morning that it is not yet scheduled for a hearing. If he schedules my bill, he will also bring up Rep. Jack Williams’ bill that would restrict any government entity [such as the Alabama Legislature] from raising the minimum wage to a level that’s higher than the federal minimum wage. This bill contradicts, or at best, significantly limits, the intent of the bill I am sponsoring. Rep.Williams assured me yesterday that the timing of the introduction of his bill coinciding with mine was merely coincidence as he originally planned on introducing his bill last year, but ran out of time.