A labor bill the Senate Finance Committee passed Thursday would give commissioners of state departments raises of about $9,000 a year -- but not until the next governor takes office.
Senate Bill 298 allows commissioners to move up on the state pay scale so their salaries could go from $80,724 a year to a maximum of $89,832. That change wouldn't take effect until January 2003.
``It would not impact any of the sitting commissioners,'' said Alison Elgee, deputy commissioner in the state Department of Administration. Commissioners usually change when new governors are elected.
The change would address a situation in which commissioners can be paid less than some of the people they supervise.
The bill also allows commissioners to receive bonuses and percentage increases that may be provided to all other state employees in the meantime.
Commissioner pay is a small part of a bill dealing with state workers not covered by union contracts.
That bill gives most non-union workers $800 bonuses this year and 2 percent pay raises in the next two years. That's less than the $1,200 bonus, 2 percent and 3 percent raise package the bill had called for when introduced by Gov. Tony Knowles.
However, if the Legislature approves contracts giving union workers more generous pay, legislators have said they would also bump up the numbers for non-union workers.
As introduced by the administration, the bill also gave the same bonuses and percentage raises to the governor, lieutenant governor and legislators. The Finance Committee stripped out those raises.
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