Deputies for elected officials get biggest pay raises | NevadaAppeal.com

Deputies for elected officials get biggest pay raises

Pay raises recommended by the governor and expanded by lawmakers will cost a total of nearly $140 million over the biennium.

All state workers will get 2 percent raise effective July 1 and another 4 percent the following year. State directors, assistants and other professional employees outside the classified service will get healthy pay raises, in addition to cost-of-living adjustments.

The raises range from 5.6 percent for heads of the largest departments to more than 9 percent for attorneys and up to 20 percent for a few positions personnel officials said were underpaid, compared to comparable posts in other agencies.

The package also includes two-grade increases for all law enforcement, juvenile, corrections and nursing positions in state service; payments for specialized professionals in gaming control, adding a 10th step to the state’s longevity ladder; and money for raises in the university system and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Altogether, the bill appropriates $112.9 million in general fund and $25 million in highway fund money – a total of $137.9 million over the biennium.

Nearly all of that was proposed by Gov. Kenny Guinn. The most expensive addition by the Legislature was to raise the cost-of-living increase in 2007 from 2 percent to 4 percent, at a cost of about $56 million.

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Among the biggest individual increases in AB557 are for deputies in the offices of Nevada’s elected officers.

The chief deputies in the secretary of state and treasurer’s offices will receive 20.7 percent more next year, plus the 2 percent raise for all state workers which takes effect July 1. That will bring their pay to $106,080 in fiscal 2006 and $110,323 in 2007.

That large increase was originally recommended for the chief deputy secretary of state based on a the personnel study of the job’s responsibilities. Lawmakers decided to include the treasurer’s chief deputy at the same pay level.

For the assistant attorney general, a 15.6 percent increase in base pay plus 2 percent effective July 1 will total $127,500. The salary cap for that position will be $132,600 in July 2007.

The chief deputy controller’s position will increase from $87,876 to $97,410 in July, and $101,306 the following year.

And the chief clerk of the Supreme Court will also get a substantial pay hike – 15.6 percent to $127,500 a year.

Salaries for directors of the largest state departments will increase 5.6 percent then 2 percent more July 1, bringing them to $115,770 a year. The directors on that list include Administration, Department of Motor Vehicles, Public Safety, Business and Industry and Human Resources.

Heads of the largest divisions and smaller departments will increase from just under $97,000 to $106,080 in July.

Attorneys for the state increased from a base of $79,000 to $85,000. Lawyers for the public defender and the state attorney for Injured Workers were brought up to that same pay level, which will be an $11,000 a year raise.

Classified workers with the state will receive 2 percent more on July 1 and another 4 percent July 2007. In addition, the Legislature approved creation of another step in the pay ladder, which means all classified employees with a satisfactory performance rating or better will also get a step increase worth another 4 percent this year.

The legislation arranges many of the unclassified employees in an unofficial grade system similar to that used to set classified salaries. It adjusts those salaries to match the pay, given different positions with the pay for other posts that have similar responsibilities, and was designed to eliminate favoritism in granting raises.

Lawmakers declined to implement Guinn’s full-tier system setting salaries for all unclassified employees. They elected, instead, to keep direct control over most unclassified salaries.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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