Iowa Senator Tom Harkin today (Tuesday) introduced an amendment to try and prevent the salary scandal that’s erupted over a federally-funded state jobs training program. Federal and state officials are investigating the Central Iowa Employment Training Consortium after it was learned the program’s administrators were paid over one-point-eight million dollars over a two-and-a-half year period.
Harkin, a democrat, says his proposal would cap salaries. Harkin says he’s asked federal and state investigators to report back to him with recommendations for preventing more abuses like those at CIETC. But he says lawmakers can act now by putting a ceiling on salaries.
Harkin says his proposal would give the states some leeway. He says the way the amendment is structured, each state would set their maximum compensation. Harkin says states that fail to act would have the maximum executive salary level at 165-thousand dollars a year. Harkin says the maximum is the same salary set for the Head Start program after abuses were found in that federal program.
Harkin says 165-thousand dollars is clearly a “very substantial salary”, but Harkin says it might be appropriate for someone who leads a very large program or lives in a state or city with a high cost of living. Harkin is on the Senate committee that secured funds for CIETC, but say he did not know about the salary scandal until it was revealed by state officials. Iowa’s other Senator, Chuck Grassley, is co-sponsoring the amendment.