Gov. Norm Bangerter, fresh from being re-elected for another four years, will take a 10 percent pay raise in 1989, if lawmakers decide he's worthy.
The governor will include in his 1989-90 budget enough money to implement pay raises for the five elected officials - governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, auditor and treasurer - along with the state's judges.Bangerter recommends a 3 percent raise for state workers, public education teachers and college professors in next year's budget. He suggests that the pay raise for state workers be based on merit, not an across-the-board, cost-of-living raise.
The Executive and Judicial Compensation Commission suggests that the governor's pay go from $60,000 a year to $66,000, a healthy 10 percent increase.
Dave Buhler, an aide to Bangerter and the governor's campaign manager, said Monday that Bangerter has taken only one pay raise in four years in office. "He accepted a raise his first year," said Buhler.
That raise was recommended in former Gov. Scott M. Matheson's last budget, and Bangerter let it stand. Lawmakers then approved the raise.
Buhler knows about the governor's pay situation because the Bangerter campaign criticized former Salt Lake Mayor Ted Wilson - Bangerter's Democratic gubernatorial opponent - for taking raises as mayor that doubled his pay over 10 years in office.
The commission reviews the salaries of elected officials and judges in surrounding states each year and then recommends salary changes to the Legislature.
Technically, Bangerter doesn't specifically recommended his own pay or that of other elected officials and judges. But he does include such pay raises in his budget. In years past, when the commission has recommended a pay raise for the governor, Bangerter has asked lawmakers not to raise his pay and they didn't.
The governor said in announcing his 1989-90 budget in early December that Utah's judiciary is underpaid and he would recommend whatever pay raises the commission suggests. The commission hadn't then announced its recommendations.> However, Buhler said Bangerter would include the recommended pay raised for elected officials in his 1989-90 budget. The commission says it would cost $1.4 million to give the judicial and executive pay raises. That's a small amount in the $2.93 billion budget Bangerter is recommending for next year. A 3 percent raise for the other state workers would cost about $36 million. And the governor has said that if new 1989-90 revenue estimates completed just before the Legislature adjourns in February show that there will be more money next year, then he'd like to give 4 percent raises to state workers.> Each 1 percent raise for the state's 12,000 workers costs about $12.5 million. If the Legislature gives the raises, they will take effect July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.
State workers have received small bonuses off and on the past four years, but only one real pay raise - 2.5 percent last year.C
The commission recommends Utah Supreme Court justices' salaries be increased from $64,000 to $80,000 yearly; Court of Appeals judges from $60,800 to $76,000; district and juvenile court judges, $57,600 to $72,000; and circuit judges, $54,400 to $68,000.
Besides Bangerter's pay increase, the commission recommends that Lt. Gov. Val Oveson's pay go from $50,000 to $52,500; Attorney General-elect Paul Van Dam's pay should go from $54,000 to $56,000; and State Treasurer Ed Alter's and Auditor Tom Allen's pay should go from $51,000 to $53,000.