Las Vegas Sun

February 23, 2019

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Nevada’s constitutional officers split on accepting pay increase

CARSON CITY – Splitting from Gov. Brian Sandoval, State Controller Kim Wallin and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto are going to keep the 6 percent pay raise they will receive this month.

Sandoval last week told a news conference he wouldn't accept the raise and encouraged other constitutional officers to do the same thing.

While accepting the pay increase, Wallin and Masto will continue to voluntarily take a 4.6 percent reduction in pay imposed on other state workers.

The six constitutional officers took the 4.6 percent pay reduction levied on state workers in May 2009. It’s likely state employees will be required to continue to take a one-day-a-month unpaid furlough or some other cutback.

Under state law, the constitutional officers are entitled to an increase in salary of 6 percent this month, but Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki said this isn't the time to take a pay increase.

Krolicki and Secretary of State Ross Miller won’t take the 6 percent raise. State Treasurer Kate Marshall also won’t take the pay increase, but she said she won't continue voluntarily giving up the 4.6 percent reduction.

Wallin says she has already forfeited $16,684 because she didn't get raises in 2007 and 2008 when the pay of state workers was increased. Wallin’s pay will rise from $97,000 to $102,898.

“I’m already standing in solidarity with the state workers,” she said.

Cortez Masto said she is willing to take the same salary cuts imposed on state workers in May 2009. That’s the unpaid furlough day once a month, amounting to a 4.6 percent cut in pay.

Cortez Masto will accept her new salary of $141,086, up from $133,000.

Marshall said to continue to take the 4.6 percent reduction in pay, then to waive the 6 percent increase amounts to a 10.6 percent penalty.

Under the formula in the law, the authorized salary of Sandoval would have increased by $8,500 to $149,573. Krolicki, whose job isn't full-time, was due for a boost from $60,000 to $63,684.

Miller, according to an office spokeswoman, already told the 2009 Legislature he wouldn't be accepting the increase. Miller’s salary would have risen from $97,000 to $102,898.

The pay of constitutional officers can be raised only every four years when they begin a new term. The law says the six constitutional officers and state legislators get raises equal to those given to state classified employees during the previous four years.

The employees got a 2 percent raise in 2007 and 4 percent in 2008. But then they were required to take one furlough day a month by the 2009 Legislature to help solve the state’s financial problems.

Marshall said she will forego the 6 percent raise, which would have boosted her salary from $97,000 to $102,898.

The law also increases the salary of state legislators from $130 a day to $146.39 per day. Lawmakers only get paid for the first 60 days of the 120-day session.

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