Local Politics

Lawmakers slam lid on lottery workers' higher raises

Posted June 5, 2008

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— The state House of Representatives unanimously on Thursday passed a budget amendment to treat lottery employees the same as other state workers.

When state lawmakers created the lottery, they made the games and its work force reliant on ticket revenues. That independence allowed lottery managers to award merit raises of about 5 percent this year, well above what most other state workers can expect.

Rep. Ty Harrell, D-Wake County, said the situation “didn’t sit well with any of the parties.”

Harrell offered the new rule, which he said “boils down to fairness.”

“I'm sure that House members are getting phone calls from state employees who are concerned about equity,” said Erica Baldwin, assistant communications director for the State Employees Association of North Carolina.

Pay equity is a longstanding issue in state government. In recent years, teachers have received bigger pay increases than other workers as lawmakers try to move their salaries closer to the national average.

The lottery has struggled to meet revenue projections, but commissioners defend their independent merit pay system.
“It’s a healthy way to pay in a sales organization, which is what the lottery is,” State Lottery Commission Chairman John McArthur said.

Referring to lawmakers, McArthur said, "We'll manage the way they want."

“There is a fairness element to merit pay because you get paid more for doing more. I think in this case, people are being paid more and not really doing more,” Senate Minority Leader Phil Berger said.

Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, had argued that the amendment deserved consideration, “especially in a year in which other state employees don't have access to that type of money.”

The budget, with the limit on lottery raises, now goes to the Senate, which is supposed to vote in about two weeks. It will then head to a conference committee.

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  • enderby Jun 6, 2008

    whatelseisnew - not really my fight, but you cannot find state money not given by taxpayers because everyone is a taxpayer. There are income sources not from taxes though. Lottery money is freely given by those playing the lottery. That is what pays the salaries of the employees. They should get more, it is not tax dollars. If they lose money it is doubtful they would get a raise. The state retirement system is run by money from investments in the retirement fund built by employees, not tax dollars. There is at least one enterprise laundry run by the prison system. I think it is still receipt supported, not supported by tax dollars.

  • whatelseisnew Jun 6, 2008

    ratherbnnc

    Apparently you are aware of money the state has that does not come from taxpayers. Would you care to enlighten some of us?

  • davidgnews Jun 6, 2008

    Wow, some sense at the legislature, who would have figured that?

    Now they should find a way to end the lottery and BRING IN REAL CASINOS !!! Revenue problem solved.

  • ratherbnnc Jun 6, 2008

    The taxes government employees pay is on their pay that comes from taxes collected from private citizens to start with so all that is going on is rolling over money collected from taxes. So no new money is generated by government employees.
    jbyrd

    As the REV RB would say! Oh Lord! Please forgive this man jbyrd for he knows not what he speaks!

  • ratherbnnc Jun 6, 2008

    I may be guilty of lumping a few good in with the bad but there is more truth than exaggeration in my comments.
    jbyrd

    Sounds like a drunken binge to me!! HAHA

  • foetine Jun 6, 2008

    these people earned their "bonus" when they denied that couple of their fortune claiming they missed a "micro speck" on a scratch and win ticket.

  • jbyrd Jun 6, 2008

    "Jbyrd" You are waaayyy out of line! You don't even know what you're talking about.
    Armando de Cabana Boy"

    I may be guilty of lumping a few good in with the bad but there is more truth than exaggeration in my comments.

  • Armando de Cabana Boy Jun 6, 2008

    "Jbyrd" You are waaayyy out of line! You don't even know what you're talking about.

  • jbyrd Jun 6, 2008

    ratherbnnc,
    "I just love it when all these good citizens scream they pay taxes and govt employees dont. When we see the day that we are exempt from taxes then open your mouth!"

    The taxes government employees pay is on their pay that comes from taxes collected from private citizens to start with so all that is going on is rolling over money collected from taxes. So no new money is generated by government employees.

    Rev RB

    "Besides, there's nothing stopping you from applying for a job and getting their benefits, is there?"

    I decided to stop being a financial burden on others (mom and dad) 37 years ago.

  • ratherbnnc Jun 6, 2008

    How many government employees have you ever heard of that lost their jobs due to poor job performance? NONE As long as you don't come in drunk or embarace your boss you have very little responsibilty that can get you fired.

    Try the real world for true responsiblity.
    jbyrd

    Actually i know quite a few!

    True, us government employees do have retirement but believe me we sure pay our fair share out of our checks into the retirement system. What accumulative time off? You mean as in vacation? Yeah. not as much as you may think! All kinds of sick leave? Didnt know they gave out different sick leave for different illnesses! We only get 1 day earned per month. Vacation? Sure..most major holidays like everyone else. Only other day we get even comparable to ground hog day is MLK Birthday, so we really do not get ground hog day! I just love it when all these good citizens scream they pay taxes and govt employees dont. When we see the day that we are exempt from taxes then open your mouth!

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