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Bill to up coroner’s pay awaits Senate OK

Legislation proposing a salary and expense compensation increase for Pike County Coroner Jerry Williams is currently working its way through the hands of lawmakers.

“That bill is past the House, and it’s awaiting Senate action,” said Rep. Alan Boothe, D-Troy.

County Administrator Harry Sanders said the county coroner is currently paid an annual $400 salary plus $3,000 per year for expenses.

Williams previously told The Messenger that those figures don’t even cover half of his expenses for the job that nets an average monthly workload of 60 to 85 hours.

After costs for fuel, required training courses, paging services, telephone and radio communication services, postage, office supplies, evidence containers, body bags and photo processing and printing, Williams actually pays to perform the service.

Williams said that he’s not out to make money, he just wants to cover his expenses and preserve the integrity of the position.

“I view this particular job as a service,” he told The Messenger in a previous article. “I’m not really looking for a raise, but nobody else is going to take this job. I want it to at least be self-supporting, so we can get a quality person to do it.”

Now it’s up to the Senate to approve the bill before it meets Governor approval, the final stage of the process.

“The coroner’s bill has reached the Senate,” said Sen. Wendell Mitchell, D-Luverne. “It’s in what we call the Local Legislation Committee.

“I will sign it out on Tuesday, it will get a report and should be voted on within the next week to 10 days.”

If the Senate endorses the bill, it will be up to Gov. Bob Riley to give the final go ahead on the legislation that would allow the Pike County Commission to raise the Coroner’s salary to as much as $20,000, and the annual expense reimbursement amount, to up to $18,000.

The amount of the coroner’s pay would determined by the commission.