Eye On Boise

House votes 39-22 to raise commissioner salaries by 2% next year

HB 645, to grant 2 percent salary increases to Idaho's full-time commissioners - public utilities commissioners, state tax commissioners and industrial commissioners - has passed the House, but only on a 39-22 vote. "It's something we've agreed to, to give all state employees that 2 percent," said Rep. Max Black, R-Boise, the bill's House sponsor. But Rep. Pete Nielsen, R-Mountain Home, said, "I question if this is a good idea. Two percent of $100,000 or $90,000 is a heck of a lot more than if somebody's only making 30,000 bucks." Rep. Erik Simpson, R-Idaho Falls, said, "I appreciate the work that they do ... but again, across-the-board 2 percent increase, I can't accept that."

The bill now moves to the Senate. Lawmakers haven't funded raises for state employees for the past four years, but have approved a 2 percent hike next year for all state workers who are performing to standards; those not performing to standards would get zero. Commissioners' salaries are set by statute and haven't been increased since 2008.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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