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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Testimony: ‘We need help, we really do’

Mechelle Thomas testifies to lawmakers on Wednesday (Betsy Russell)
Mechelle Thomas testifies to lawmakers on Wednesday (Betsy Russell)

In continuing testimony on state employee compensation this afternoon:

Shelly Doty told the lawmakers, “I feel as if I’m banging my head against the wall.” She said many people at her agency qualify for food stamps or other aid.

Mechelle Thomas, pictured above, who works at the Idaho State Veterans Home, said, “I make $24,000 a year. I can’t afford a lot of things any more. I love my people that I work with, but they keep passing us up for a raise.” She said, “Two percent? That would be great. … We need help, we really do, we need help.”

Audra Campbell, who also worked at the State Veterans Home, said she worked there because she wanted to work with veterans. Breaking into tears, she said, “Unfortunately with the economy, I have given my resignation, because I can no longer afford to work at a job that I love to work at.”

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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