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State employee "pool" for money for unfilled state positions moving forward in the House

The North Dakota House is moving forward with a plan to create a “pool” of salaries for unfilled state government positions.

"We have about 700 unfilled positions, with a request for 400 new FTEs," said House GOP Caucus Chairman Glenn Bosch (R-Bismarck). "The chance that we would hire all those FTEs on day one of new biennium is very unlikely."

Bosch said rather than giving the funding for those positions directly to the agencies, a portion of that would be set aside in a separate pool, to be managed by the state's Office of Management and Budget.

"If an agency wanted to fill, or hired, one of those positions, they would request it, and they would receive the funding," Bosch said. "It's no different than what they would do in the current process of hiring people."

Bosch said in the past, lawmakers had questions about how the money for unfilled positions was being used.

"They (the agencies) needed that flexibility, because we (the Legislature) hadn't paid state employees where they needed to be paid," Bosch said.

Bosch also said House and Senate leadership have agreed on an $82 million “equity pay” pool for state employees.

"That's to bring people up to a salary range that's more comparable to the private sector," Bosch said.

State employees are set to receive raises of an average of 6 percent in the first year of the biennium, and 4 percent in the second year.

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