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‘Rumor that this is a political process’

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.


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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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