Lame Duck Iowa Governor Culver OKs State Pay Raises

Posted By on November 21, 2010

Reckless and Irresponsible are the only (2) words for this…..

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver’s administration agreed Friday to offer pay increases for state employees that will cost taxpayers more than $200 million, despite Republican requests that the decisions be delayed until Terry Branstad becomes governor in January.A Branstad spokesman called the deal “reckless,” and House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen said it would likely lead to layoffs.  “Taxpayers are the losers in this backroom deal,” said Jeff Boeyink, Branstad’s chief of staff. “Governor Culver’s decision to rush through a collective bargaining deal with state employee unions before he leaves office is reckless and irresponsible. This will cost Iowa taxpayers $103.5 million the first year alone, and hundreds of millions in subsequent fiscal years.”

Paulsen, the House Republican leader, said that in some cases, some state employees would receive a roughly 15 percent salary increase over the next two years, largely because of step increases. He said the extra costs will likely cause lawmakers to have to trim the budget even further when the legislative session begins in January. Layoffs are possible, he said.

A review last year by The Des Moines Register showed that Iowa is one of only six states to offer free health insurance to state government employees and their families.

Iowa’s state employees also pay substantially lower out-of-pocket health costs, such as deductibles and office co-payments, than private-sector workers, according to an independent study of nearly 900 businesses and government employers conducted this year by David P. Lind & Associates of Clive.

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