The Legislative Procedures and Arrangements Committee is now on-record supporting pay raises for state employees.
The Committee approved a proposal to give Legislative branch employees two percent raises each year of the upcoming biennium.
Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Ray Holmberg (R-Grand Forks) made the motion to put money for those raises in the branch’s budget proposal.
"We are sending a message," Holmberg said in an interview. "The Legislature feels state employees deserve a pay raise."
State workers did not receive raises in the current 2017-2019 biennium, due to budget constraints. Gov. Doug Burgum has also said he wants to build raises into the budget for the next biennium.
"Four years is too long to go in the job market we have in North Dakota without making adjustments to pay," Holmberg said.
Holmberg said the Legislative branch had to include something in its budget proposal before Burgum decides on his pay plan. And he said the plan for the Legislative branch would be adjusted after that.
"Last time, for example, we put in our budget a 'one percent-one percent' pay increase," Holmberg said. "The Governor said 'zer0," and that's what we did, because we do follow the executive recommendation."
State Legislators have also tied any pay increases they would receive to what state employees recommend.
Burgum will present his executive budget recommendations to the Legislature’s organizational session in December.