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FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2007
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Bill calls for full state pay disclosure

By M.J. Ellington
mjellington@decaturdaily.com (334) 262-1104

MONTGOMERY — Elected state officials who also receive state pay for other jobs would have to disclose that information to the public under a bill introduced Thursday.

Rep. Mike Ball, R-Huntsville, a retired state trooper who receives state retirement income, said lawmakers should tell voters if they receive state income other than for their elected positions. The same rules would apply to lawmakers' spouses who receive government salaries and to both officials and spouses working under state contracts.

Employment and contract scandals in the state's two-year college system focused attention on the issue but are not the sole reason for the legislation, Ball said.

Ball said he believes the legislation could also apply to public school teachers who are spouses of elected state officials.

"I don't mean this as a shot across the bow at the two-year colleges," Ball said. "There are people who do a good job with both. I just think they should be open about it."

All said he wants a spot on the secretary of state's Web site where the information would be posted.

Ball's bill, HB 510, is assigned to the House Government Operations Committee. Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Orr's bill, SB 336, is in the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Accountability Committee.

Orr said he believes disclosure would help government officials be more accountable.

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