Republican legislators are asking state employees to vote to freeze their pay. Representative Bill Dix, a Republican from Shell Rock, is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Dix is making an appeal to union leaders, asking them to return to the bargaining table with the Governor and negotiate a pay freeze. Dix says it’s unfortunate, because there are a lot of hard-working state employees deserve every penny they earn. Dix says state worker pay has gone up about 40 percent in the past six years, and he says in this tight budget climate, that can’t continue.Senator Jeff Lamberti, a Republican from Ankeny, is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Lamberti says there’s no way to balance the budget without significant layoffs unless state worker pay is frozen. Lawmakers intend to freeze their own pay indefinitely and will be freezing the pay of all employees with the legislative branch of government. Lamberti says the goal is to cut the legislative branch of state government by two-and-a-half percent to equal the cut Governor Vilsack ordered in executive branch agencies. Lamberti says there’ll be a hiring freeze, a ban on most travel and they may shorten the length of the 2004 Legislative session to save money.
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