Pay raises draw ire of lawmakers in budget hearing - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Pay raises draw ire of lawmakers in budget hearing

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FOX 8 file photo FOX 8 file photo
MELINDA DESLATTE
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers are bristling at pay raises handed out by Louisiana's statewide elected officials while the state struggles with continuing budget shortfalls and repeated cuts.

Members of the House Appropriations Committee said they were angry and frustrated as they learned during Wednesday's budget hearing that Treasurer John Kennedy, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon, Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain and Attorney General Buddy Caldwell have given salary bumps to various employees in their offices.

Both Donelon and Strain said they gave across-the-board 4 percent merit raises to employees this year because they couldn't sign a civil service form attesting that they didn't have the money to afford the pay hikes.

Republican Rep. John Schroder of Covington says it's wrong to give raises when the state had to make midyear budget cuts to services.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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