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Eye On Boise

CEC panel pitches raises for state workers to Legislature’s budget committee

The co-chairmen of the Legislature’s joint Change in Employee Compensation Committee are presenting the committee’s recommendation to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee this morning, which calls for an average 2 percent pay boost for state workers next year – 1 percent permanent, and 1 percent in one-time bonuses. The increases would be distributed by agency heads based on merit and other factors. “We had a unanimous vote in the committee, and we hope that you’ll consider our recommendation very carefully,” Sen. John Tippets, R-Montpelier, told the Joint Finance

The recommendation also calls for covering a $12.7 million increase in the employer’s share of health insurance costs for state workers next year; continuing “pay-line exceptions” for about 500 hard-to-fill positions, 60 percent of which are nursing jobs; and $99,000 to bring the 300 lowest-paid workers’ pay up by another 1 percent, through moving the base pay scale up 1 percent. And it calls for convening the joint CEC Committee again next year.

Rep. Stephen Hartgen, R-Twin Falls, the House Commerce chairman, said, “I think the evidence was … this was an area that needed some attention this year, and we felt that a recommendation along this line was appropriate. … If you look at the data … a large number of state employees have basically not had much of a change in the past four or five years. So with the recovering economy, it seemed this was an appropriate measure to take at this particular point in time. We leave it in your good hands to see how to make that fit.”

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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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