Republican legislators have reached a deal among themselves, settling a budget stalemate.
The Senate and House Republicans were at odds over whether to cut pay raises next year for state employees by 1 percent or trim $15 million from 1991-92 budget programs.The stalemate threatened the budget-setting process, but GOP leaders said Friday that they will ask their caucuses to accept a compromise - the $15 million in cuts would be made, the 5 percent pay package would remain intact, and a second budget bill would be passed which says that if on Sept. 1 there are extra, unanticipated revenues flowing into state coffers the $15 million in cuts will be restored.
Said House Majority Whip Byron Harward, R-Provo: "We think we can sell this compromise to our Republican caucuses. We hope we have settled this." The caucuses will meet at noon Friday.
Harward said House members feel strongly about keeping the 5 percent pay package and trimming the $15 million from programs because the pay package is already meager.
He says that because of actuarial mistakes in the state retirement fund, more money must be put in this year and it comes out of the pay package. Thus, the 5 percent equates to 2.5 percent to retirement and health benefits and 2.5 percent for a merit-salary raise.