The state Change in Employee Compensation Committee, a panel of legislators charged with recommending how much state employees should get in raises next year, met in a hastily called session today, with the aim of recommending more money – possibly another 2 percent, on top of the 3 percent merit raises state workers were just granted – for state salaries next year. But the joint House-Senate panel didn’t get to a final decision and Senate Republicans want to hold a closed-door caucus on the issue. As the CEC committee wrapped it up for today, Sen. Kate Kelly, D-Boise, noted that there’d been talk of a Senate GOP caucus – to which Democrats, of course, aren’t invited. “We are the 12 that have been entrusted by leadership to make these decisions,” she noted. Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis, R-Idaho Falls, responded, “I couldn’t agree with the senator more – this is the CEC committee.”
Co-chair Rep. Bob Schaefer, R-Nampa, commented, “There’s a rumor going around that this is a political process.”
Co-chair Sen. John Andreason, R-Boise, tried to make a motion, but Schaefer said, “It’s the chair’s understanding that we’re going to have a hearing. … No motions would be made until the Senate has a caucus.”
Schaefer then recessed the meeting at the call of the chair, saying it won’t reconvene again until after Tuesday of next week.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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