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Eye On Boise

They’d decide differently today

The chairman of Idaho's  Citizens Committee on Legislative Compensation says if the panel were to meet today, it'd likely reach a different decision, rather than recommending a 5 percent raise in state legislative salaries. "We made that decision last summer," Rich Jackson said today. "I think our proposal will be rejected." The citizens committee was trying to keep lawmakers even with inflation, after they went four years without raises before seeing a hike two years ago to $16,116 a year. Jackson said the panel also recommended changes in mileage reimbursement to compensate legislators in very large districts who must drive long distances, sometimes leaving their districts, just to get to other locations within the districts.
"Now in reality, do I think the legislators are adequately compensated? No," said Jackson, a Boise CPA. "But I think within the means of the state and a balanced budget, we probably do as best we can. And if you look at the state of our economy and what's going on, I think the governor's being very prudent in the holdbacks." Similar frugal moves by the Legislature, like foregoing a legislative pay increase, would be "only reasonable," Jackson said.

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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