Compensation and expenses of members of Legislature.

Section 1. (a) The Legislature recognizes that the public trust in the legislative body is of paramount importance. The Legislature further recognizes that government transparency and accountability are vital to the preservation of the public trust. To that end, it is the purpose of this amendment to remove the power of determining legislative compensation or expenses from the hands of the Legislature itself, to validate the basis upon which legislative compensation and expenses are established in an objective manner based on measurable standards, and to allow the citizens of Alabama to vote on this issue. It is the will of the Legislature to resolve the issue of legislative compensation and expenses once and for all by providing for compensation and expenses for members of the Legislature and the President of the Senate and by providing for compensation to be paid at the same rate as the median household income in Alabama and expenses in the same amounts and manner as expenses are allowed under law for state employees generally.

(b) All laws or parts of laws in conflict with this amendment are repealed, including, but not limited to: Those portions of Amendments 39, 57, and 339 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, relating to the compensation and expenses of members of the Legislature; Act 87-209, Act 90-490, Act 91-95, Act 91-108, and Act 2007-75; and Section 29-1-8, Code of Alabama 1975.

Section 2. The annual basic compensation for each member of the Legislature and the President of the Senate shall be the median annual household income in Alabama, as ascertained and adjusted each year by the State Personnel Board to take effect on the first day of January of each year.

Section 3. (a) No member of the Legislature or the President of the Senate may receive reimbursement for any expenses except as provided in this section.

(b) Subject to approval by the President of the Senate or by the Speaker of the House for the respective members of their Houses, and except as otherwise provided in subsection (d), a member of the Legislature may be reimbursed for any of the following:

(1) Expenses incurred for travel on official business in the same amounts or at the same rates as for state employees traveling in the service of the state under state law, rules, and policies, provided that, for a member of the Legislature, the travel is to a place outside his or her district.

(2) Actual expenses other than travel expenses incurred in the performance of official duties.

(3) Expenses authorized pursuant to Act 1196 of the 1971 Regular Session for the presiding officer of each House.

(c) Reimbursement for expenses may only be made under subdivision (1) and (2) of subsection (b) after a determination of the presiding officer of the member's House that the travel or expense is in the service of the state and on submission of a signed voucher submitted in the same manner as a request for reimbursement of expenses by a state employee.

(d) Except for the expenses of transportation, no member of the Legislature who resides less than 50 miles from the seat of government may be reimbursed for any travel expenses for travel between his or her place of residence and the seat of government.

(e) In making the determination required by subsection (c), the presiding officer of either House may not determine a particular expense incurred by any member of the Legislature was not in the service of the state on any basis that discriminates between members of the Legislature.

(f) Reimbursement for expenses authorized pursuant to this section shall be paid in a timely manner that is consistent with expense reimbursement regulations jointly promulgated by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act. Such regulations shall, to the extent possible, mirror similar regulations applicable to state employees. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House may not discriminate between members of the Legislature regarding the timely reimbursement of authorized expenses.

(g) The State Personnel Board may promulgate such rules as it deems necessary to enforce its responsibilities under this amendment and, in conjunction with the Comptroller, shall provide an annual report on compensation and reimbursement of expenses to members of the Legislature.

Section 4. (a) The compensation and reimbursement for expenses provided in Sections 2 and 3 shall constitute the total amounts payable to the presiding officers and members of the Legislature, beginning with the terms commencing immediately after the 2014 General Election.

(b) The Legislature may not increase, supplement, or otherwise enlarge the compensation or reimbursement for expenses payable to its members by this amendment.