Thursday, June 30, 2005

Pay raise offer puts state officials on spot | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "When a 35 percent pay raise is offered in state government, it becomes more than generous. It becomes political.

Because of those implications, and the lack of new money to pay for the raises, at least three statewide elected officials said they are turning down a $32,783 pay hike authorized by the Legislature in the budget finalized last week. They are Agriculture Commissioner Susan Combs and Railroad Commissioners Elizabeth Ames Jones and Michael Williams.

Three others – Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Attorney General Greg Abbott and Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson – said they are fairly certain they will take the money, raising their annual salaries to $125,000.

Railroad Commission Chairman Victor Carrillo said he doesn't know whether he'll accept the raise.

Because the raises were approved but not funded, elected officials would have to dig under the couch cushions of their agencies to pay for them – or do without in some other department."


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