Schwartzkopf Statement on Delaware Compensation Commission

DOVER – With news reports circulating this week that the Delaware Compensation Commission could recommend pay raises for top appointed and elected government officials, House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf issued the following statement:

“Delaware’s economy is stronger than it has been in past years, but there is too much economic uncertainty. We are facing a large budget shortfall this coming year, and issuing raises to select state officials is absolutely the wrong thing to do at this time. We should not be hamstringing our budget writers for this year and future years.

“It also is unfair to the many hardworking state employees – teachers, correctional officers, nurses, maintenance workers and other professionals – who have continually done more with fewer resources and have not seen the raises they deserve. Any discussions about raises for state workers should take place during the Joint Finance Committee’s open budget process.

“Even though we have not yet received the final report from the Delaware Compensation Commission, I believe the General Assembly should and will reject it in its entirety if it contains the raises as reported in the media.

“Given the fate of recent compensation commission reports, it is time to take a hard look at this process and whether it should continue as currently constructed.”

The Compensation Commission is required by state law to review salaries against national and regional pay for corresponding officials and make recommendations for pay increases every four years. Since the creation of the Compensation Commission in 1984, the report has been rejected twice, in 1993 and 2013. In 2005, the recommended raises ranged from 9 to 20 percent. In 2009, the commission acknowledged the downturn in the economy and recommended no raises for any officials.