Governor Tom Vilsack has ordered a moratorium on special pay to state workers that’s made him the target of criticism. Spokesman Matt Paul says the order issued Monday by the democrat governor stops any special bonus pay to state workers. He says in light of recent revenue problems the state has faced, the governor feels we should take a break from using special pay incentives. State legislators were upset to learn that Vilsack had given bonuses to some department directors — saying it was an attempt to get around the salary limits the legislature had set. Vilsack said the bonuses are part of running government more like a business, and rewarding managers who are creative and doing well in trying circumstances. Paul says this moratorium only impacts new agreements. He says if there’s an agreement in place, this directive would not impact that. Paul doesn’t know what kind of impact the move will have on the budget. He says he doesn’t have in impact statement, or projected savings. He says though the governor feels in light of weak revenue, the payments should be stopped, and reassessed in a year. The legislature has looked at new legislation to clarify the salary levels. Paul says the governor doesn’t think pay incentives should be ruled out. He says the governor feels this is an important recruiting tool for future governors and they should have the ability to use the incentives to recruit the best possible people for all levels of state government. The governor is currently out of the state on a trade trip to New Zealand.
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