State employees seek $16.5 Million pay raise

Helena – Helena Democrat Representative Moffie Funk has introduced a bill in the legislature to give state employees raises costing $16.5 Million over the next two years.

House Bill 13, the state pay plan bill would provide a 1% raise for each of the next two years. State workers previously received raises in January 2016 and January 2015.

Funk told the House Appropriations committee on Tuesday the bill, ““lifts up all our state employees by giving them a modest salary adjustment so that they can continue to do the good work for this state.”

Several state employees testified in favor of the proposal.

Rich Aarstad of the Montana Historical society said, “We understand that everybody is going to have to tighten their belts up. We’re more than willing to do that.”

Another state employee, Nicole Thuotte of the Office of Public Instruction told lawmakers that state workers have been asked to “do more with less” for many years.

Representative Nancy Balance, who chairs the committee, said the panel will act on the bill within the next week.

By: Big Sky Headlines staff