Legislative staff getting raises twice as big as state workers'

December 17, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Legislative leaders approved a budget yesterday that will give their staff raises that surpass those being proposed for most state workers.

The budget calls for an increase in legislative staff salaries totaling 6.7 percent, nearly twice the 3.5 percent average cost-of-living raise that Gov. Parris N. Glendening proposes for all state workers.

The increase is needed to attract employees to the General Assembly's staff and retain them, said Karl S. Aro, executive director of the Department of Legislative Services.

In the past year and a half, 82 employees have left the department, about a quarter of its work force, Aro said.

The Legislative Policy Committee, made up of of Democratic and Republican Assembly leaders, approved the request with no objection.

Under the Maryland Constitution, the Assembly prepares its own budget and the governor must include it in his statewide budget proposal, which is to be submitted to the legislature when it convenes next month.

Under the budget approved yesterday, the cost of staff salaries for the legislature would climb from $18.2 million to $19.4 million. The number of employees would remain at 347.

The spending plan calls for a $1,100 cost-of-living raise for all legislative employees and includes money for merit raises and to boost some department salaries.

Pub Date: 12/17/97

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