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Saturday, January 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

CEC Committee meets this afternoon, invites written testimony

The Legislature’s joint Change in Employee Compensation, or CEC Committee, will meet this afternoon at 2:30 in the Lincoln Auditorium, but it won’t be taking public testimony from state employees as it has in the past. Instead, the committee has invited written testimony to be submitted from state employees with concerns about pay. At today’s meeting, the panel will hear from state Human Resources Director Susan Buxton about the annual CEC Report, which is required by law each year to compare Idaho’s employee compensation to market rates; and then will hear from Gov. Butch Otter’s budget director, Jani Revier, about the governor’s CEC recommendation, which calls for merit raises averaging 3 percent for state employees next year.

The CEC Committee will meet again on Monday at 2 p.m., when it will hear a presentation on state employee health insurance; a report from the Legislature’s interim committee that studied the state’s insurance plan and is recommending an RFP next year to re-bid it, either as a self-funded or fully-funded insurance plan with a series of changes; a presentation from the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho; and testimony from agency heads and institution presidents. And then the panel will meet again next Wednedsay, at 3 p.m. in room EW 42, to consider and vote on its CEC recommendations to JFAC.

Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, CEC Committee co-chair, said the panel opted against the traditional open testimony from state workers this year because “we had limited time to work with, and we felt we needed to hear more from the directors. We felt like the message we got in the past two years was more or less the same.”

Plus, the panel is not just looking at pay this year – it’s examining total compensation including benefits. “Insurance is the biggest cost, and of course we’ve had an interim committee looking at that,” Anderson said. The CEC panel also wants to examine PERSI to “look at the underpinnings to make sure we’re sustainable on the current levels,” he said.

The interim committee’s final report, which runs five pages, is online here.

Anyone wishing to provide written testimony to the CEC Committee about the state’s personnel system and employee compensation may send it by email to Robyn Lockett at by tomorrow, and the written testimony will be provided to the committee. The panel put out the call for written testimony last week. (I intended to report on it earlier, but was at the hospital with my husband after his snowboarding accident; he’s now recovering at home.) The notice seeking written comment says, “The legislators, who have been elected to represent you, would like to hear your thoughts.”

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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