Lawmakers are continuing their summer project – figure out why people in the governor’s administration are paid what they’re paid.

This time, they’re looking into state school superintendent Tony Smith – who makes $225,000 annually, plus a $500 a month vehicle stipend and gets seven weeks paid vacation.

The State Board also pays Smith’s member pension contribution, which is nearly 10 percent of his salary. State Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) thinks that’s unfair.

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“The irony is rich,” Franks says, noting there are hearings underway to cut pension benefits for first responders and front line state workers. “It’s hypocritical and it’s wrong, it never should have occurred. They ought to make it right.”

Make it right, Franks says, by not allowing this to happen again. Smith was given the extra perks because he’s in the less generous Tier II pension plan, implemented for all state workers hired after January 2011.

Smith was not in attendance, another hearing on this will be scheduled.


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