Bill Description: House Bill 595 would allow the state to issue employees larger bonuses and make it easier to increase employee compensation.
Does it increase government spending (for objectionable purposes) or debt? Conversely, does it decrease government spending or debt?
House Bill 595 would amend Section 59-1603, Idaho Code, to increase from $2,000 to $5,000 the maximum "award" that agencies may give to "nonclassified officers and employees" for either "an affirmative certification of meritorious service" or "based upon suggestions or recommendations made by the employee that resulted in taxpayer savings as a result of cost savings or greater efficiencies to the department, office or institution or to the state of Idaho in excess of the amount of the award."
It further modifies the section by changing the circumstances under which "nonmerit pay" may be increased for "nonclassified employees." Current law allows such an increase only "in unusual circumstances," but House Bill 595 would change this to say, "When necessary to obtain or retain qualified personnel. ..."
House Bill 595 would amend Section 67-5309B, Idaho Code, to add that pay increases may be based on "internal equality" and "external market changes." It would further allow these changes to be made even without a performance evaluation that shows the pay increase is merited.
House Bill 595 would amend Section 67-5309D, Idaho Code, to increase the maximum bonus for classified staff from $2,000 to $5,000.
The final change would add new language allowing departments and agencies to grant "nonperformance-related pay to employees, not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) per fiscal year" when they determine it's "necessary due to market conditions and to obtain or retain qualified personnel."
Taken together, these changes make it much easier for the state's various departments and agencies to offer substantial, taxpayer-funded bonuses and pay raises to government employees even when such bonuses and pay raises are not based on performance or merit.