Thursday, January 26, 2012

Superintendent Luna Continues to Oppose Current Pay Increases for Constitutional Officers

During his presentation to the Legislature’s budget committee this morning, Superintendent Luna again expressed his opposition to pay increases for constitutional officers.

Senator Diane Bilyeu, D-Pocatello, asked if any employees at the Department had received pay raises in recent years. Superintendent Luna said no, but “unfortunately,” he received an automatic 4 percent pay raise under Idaho law.

“The salary that I’m making today was decided right before I was elected, which was in the middle of the economic collapse. Last year, I got a 3 percent pay cut, and this year, I get a 4 percent increase this year. My recommendation is that myself and other elected officials get the same CEC (change in employee compensation) other state employees get,” Superintendent Luna told members of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee today.

“A leader never asks others to do things he’s not willing to do himself,” he said.

Under the current system, the State Superintendent’s annual salary is set by the Legislature. According to an Attorney General’s opinion published in 2009, it is illegal for any constitutional officer to refuse an increase in pay, even in tight budget years.

Superintendent Luna opposed legislation to increase constitutional officers’ pay in 2010. He has donated the increases in his salary to charitable organizations.

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