Raises planned for Idaho's top elected officials

A late-session bill quietly clears a Senate panel; co-sponsor Davis calls the hikes necessary.

THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEWMarch 13, 2014 

The raises range from 2.5 percent for the governor, secretary of state, treasurer and controller to 16 percent for the attorney general and 19.6 percent for the lieutenant governor.

Idaho legislators already have decided that state employees, whose pay lags far below market rates, will get a total of 2 percent for merit-based raises next year - half of that permanent and half as a one-time bonus.

A bill co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle has emerged from committee to grant bigger boosts to top elected officials.

Davis said the 2.5 percent figure is what legislative leaders hope state employees get over time. "This is our hope of what we'll be able to do across the board the next several years," he said.

The bigger boosts for the attorney general and lieutenant governor were "policy" decisions, he said, reflecting that the AG's salary was inadequate - it now will be tied to state district judge salaries - and that the lieutenant governor's pay should be more in line with a full-time job and not part-time work.

"We picked a policy number that we felt like was something we could have confidence going forward on, and still be able to attract as many qualified candidates as possible," Davis said.

The new bill, SB 1395, sets salaries through the first Monday in 2019. Over that period, the raises would cost taxpayers $86,700.

The governor's salary would go from $119,000 to $121,975 in 2015 and would reach $131,354 by 2019.

The lieutenant governor's salary would go from $35,700 to $42,691 next year and hit $45,973.90 by 2019.

The secretary of state, controller, treasurer and schools superintendent all make $101,150 now; they'd get $103,679 next year and $111,650 by 2019.

The attorney general's salary would go from $107,100 to $124,000 and stay there for four years.

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