After three hours of debate and deliberations, the Legislature’s joint Change in Employee Compensation Committee has voted 9-8 to accept Gov. Butch Otter’s recommendation, which includes 3 percent merit raises for state employees next year. That substitute motion was made by Sen. Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise.
Rep. Neil Anderson’s motion was for 2 percent merit raises for state employees, plus to “pay everybody … 300 bucks flat out.” He estimated the $300 per employee would cost about $5.4 million, and the 2 percent merit raises about $12 million, so he said his motion would be “pretty close” to the governor’s recommendation in price tag. He also proposed only a 2 percent adjustment to the state’s salary structure, rather than the governor’s recommended 3 percent; and said he’d like an interim committee that’s examining state employee benefits to consider some changes, including reconsidering PERSI retirement benefits. Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, seconded Anderson’s motion.
But because Burgoyne’s motion narrowly passed, Anderson’s motion wasn’t considered. The panel’s recommendation now will go to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.