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Monday, September 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

State employee pay still lags, despite this year’s 3% merit raises

Idaho state employee pay remains more than 20 percent below market rates, according to a new state report, despite the 3 percent merit raises that lawmakers granted state workers this year; you can read my full story here at

“It was a lot of money,” said Rep. Neil Anderson, R-Blackfoot, who co-chaired a joint legislative committee last year that recommended the 3 percent merit raises, plus covering a $1,040 health insurance premium increase for each employee. “But I think other states have also ponied up, and so relatively speaking, I don’t know that we’ve made much ground.”

For next year, the state Division of Human Resources is recommending similar increases, calling for merit raises of at least 3 percent. Even counting benefits, state employee compensation still lags market levels, the division reported. But, the report said, “It is not reasonable to achieve this target in one year.”

Gov. Butch Otter will make his proposal for state employee pay when he releases his budget Jan. 9, the opening day of Idaho’s 2017 legislative session; lawmakers will have the final say.

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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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