Idaho legislative committee examines increasing state employee pay

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BOISE, Idaho — A new legislative report shows that an unequal distribution of raises occurs when lawmakers fail to budget for competitive public employee salaries.

The Office of Performance Evaluations told a joint panel Tuesday that state agencies create an incentive to not follow their budgets if they rely on saving money from vacancies or filling open positions with employees making less than those they replace.

The report was presented at a time when the panel, made up of members from the Idaho House and Senate, is preparing to submit a recommendation on raising state employee salaries to lawmakers on Jan. 16.

Meanwhile, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter has proposed increasing employee pay by 3 percent.

State employees saw a 1 percent raise last year after going five years without any pay boost.

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