Legislators from both political parties are rejecting Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s proposal to raise his own salary as well as the pay for other statewide elected officials and judges. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, is a thumbs down.
“I don’t expect us to take up that proposal,” Paulsen said today.
Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs indicated Democrats aren’t interested, either.
“We’re not moving forward on the governor’s proposal,” Gronstal said. “Number one, it’s more of a political document than an actual proposal, so he filled it up with a bunch of junk, sent it up to us and then he gets to tell people he tried to do something.”
The plan would raise the governor’s pay by about $12,000, after the 2014 election. The attorney general’s annual salary would go up by about $11,000. The other statewide elected officials — the lieutenant governor, state auditor, treasurer, secretary of state and state ag secretary — all would get an $8300 raise. Branstad told reporters late this afternoon that he has “the courage to do what’s right” and make the recommendation.
“Our judges and state officials have not received a raise in a long period of time,” Branstad said. “…I think it’s just a matter of fairness that they deserve this kind of a raise.”
2005 was the last time statewide elected officials and judges got a pay raise.
Branstad’s salary plan also included money for state agencies to cover the negotiated pay raises for union employees and to extend raises to employees who aren’t working under a union contract. Republican legislators have said all year they aren’t interested in that approach and will expect state agency managers to find ways to adjust their budgets to cover salary hikes. Democrats weren’t interested in the part about requiring non-contract state employees to pay 20 percent of their health care premiums. Branstad’s staff says the governor has the authority to order that payment on his own, without the legislature’s action on that.