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House Bill 014 — Human resources, compensation

House Bill 014 — Human resources, compensation

by
Parrish Miller
January 24, 2023
Parrish Miller
January 24, 2023

Bill Description: House Bill 14 would give state agencies more power to give raises based on factors other than employee performance. 

Rating: -1

Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?

Current Idaho law says that raises for state employees should be based on "performance and market changes." House Bill 14 would amend Section 67-5309B, Idaho Code, to add that such raises can be based on "internal equity." 

It is worth noting that the term "internal equity" does not currently appear anywhere in Idaho Code, and House Bill 14 does not define it. The lack of a clear definition could allow the Department of Human Resources to create an overly broad and subjective definition that allows agencies to give raises for nearly any reason under the justification of implementing "internal equity."

Current Idaho law requires that employees be employed for at least 6 months and demonstrate satisfactory performance before receiving a "recruitment or retention" bonus. House Bill 14 would amend Sections 67-5309D and 59-1603, Idaho Code, to limit this requirement only to "retention" bonuses. This would allow agencies to give a recruitment bonus to someone who has not met the standard. 

The fiscal note for House Bill 14 claims the bill wouldn’t increase costs because the “agencies granting compensation increases to eligible state employees must use existing budget appropriations to cover the cost.” The reality is a bit more complicated. In FY22, approximately $80 million of all funds personnel costs was reverted back unspent. 

The changes implemented by House Bill 14 would make it easier for state agencies to allocate these surplus funds for "internal equity" pay raises or non-merit based bonuses rather than reverting them. Even if these additional expenditures come from “existing budget appropriations,” it is still an increase in government spending. 

(-1)

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