“As for the governor’s office, I elected to use the governor and senior staff’s budgeted 3% portion and redistribute among the governor’s staff to give the flexibility of greater than 3% in areas that needed to be addressed,” he wrote.
The governor earns about $139,000 a year and his pay is set by statute, so he was not eligible for a raise.
The General Assembly approved a 3 percent increase in salary money, with agencies and school districts being told they could decide how to spend it. Larger raises were set aside for employees in jobs that have seen especially high turnover, such as public health nurses and prison guards.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported last month that some school districts are not passing on the full 3 percent. Others districts are having to raise property taxes to make the raises permanent, or they are giving the extra money as bonuses, rather than raises to a teacher's base pay.
Meanwhile, some department heads or the panels that govern their agencies are seeking big raises for top brass. The state ethics commission, for instance, is scheduled to vote later this month on a 10 percent raise for the panel's executive secretary.
The decision by Riley to forgo raises for top brass in the governor's office came a year and a half after most of Deal's leading aides received 1o percent raises following his re-election.