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Eye On Boise

Thu., March 20, 2014, 10:59 a.m.

House trims back raises for top elected officials

House Speaker Scott Bedke asks the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday to amend legislation granting raises to top state elected officials, to lower the amounts (Betsy Russell)
House Speaker Scott Bedke asks the House State Affairs Committee on Thursday to amend legislation granting raises to top state elected officials, to lower the amounts (Betsy Russell)

House GOP leaders have proposed amendments to SB 1395, the bill granting raises to the state’s top elected officials over the next four years, to trim the boosts back from 2.5 percent a year to 1.5 percent a year. “That is a number that would enjoy support on the House floor,” said House Speaker Scott Bedke, R-Oakley. “I think the amendments reflect what I heard from the caucus.”

At a meeting of the House State Affairs Committee just now, Bedke proposed a series of amendments to SB 1395, and the committee agreed unanimously to send the bill to the House’s amending order with the proposed amendments attached; you can read my full story here at spokesman.com.

Under the amendments, the governor’s salary would rise next year from the current $119,000 to $120,785, a 1.5 percent increase, and bump up another 1.5 percent in each of the next three years, to hit $126,302 on Jan. 1, 2018. The Secretary of State, state controller state treasurer and state superintendent of schools all would see 1.5 percent raises next year as well, from the current $101,150 to $102,667, with additional 1.5 percent boosts the following three years.

The lieutenant governor would keep the bigger boost next year that the Senate-passed bill envisioned, rising 19.6 percent from the current $35,700 to $42,275, but in subsequent years, that salary would increase just 1.5 percent a year instead of 2.5 percent.

The amendments don’t change the proposed salary for the Attorney General, which would rise next year to the salary of a district judge, $124,000, a 16 percent increase, and then stay frozen at that level through the end of the four-year term.

“Yes, that makes the attorney general for a year or two earn more than the governor,” Bedke told the committee. Asked if he thought the Senate would accept the changes, he said, “I hope they do. … They know we’re amending the bill.” This means SB 1395 must come up on the amending order in the House to make the changes, then go through readings, debate and approval as amended there, and then go back to the Senate for concurrence in the amendments and passage again there as amended.

Rep. Brent Crane, R-Nampa, disclosed a possible conflict of interest under House rules before voting on amending the bill, noting that he has a relationship with the state treasurer, whose salary the bill sets - the current state treasurer is his dad, Ron Crane, who is seeking re-election.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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