Governor to OK state worker raises |

Governor to OK state worker raises

by Geoff Dornan

Gov. Brian Sandoval will sign the legislation giving state workers 6 percent raises over the coming two years.

Sandoval included 2 percent raises in the coming budget cycle in his recommended budget. But, literally minutes before adjourning on Monday night, lawmakers surprised everyone including Sandoval by amending Senate Bill 369 to add another 1 percent increase in each of the coming years.

“It was a complete surprise,” Sandoval said.

According to Chief of Staff Mike Willden, Sandoval hasn’t actually signed the bill because he hasn’t yet received it from the Legislative Counsel Bureau. But Willden said the governor has committed to signing it after reviewing the state’s finances and determining there’s enough money for the added raises.

The increase will cost the state $30.55 million during the biennium. That’s on top of the $18 million in 2018 and $37 million the governor’s 2 percent each year would cost.

That puts the total cost of state employee raises at $85 million over the biennium.

The decision was made after reviewing what the increased cost would do to the state’s ending fund balance and Rainy Day Fund.