Bonuses paid to two state directors raising their pay beyond state salary caps have caused several Iowa legislators to question whether Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has overstepped his authority.
Courtney Kay-Decker, director of the Iowa Department of Revenue, received an $800-per-pay-period housing allowance for her first year on the job, ending March 15, 2012, that totaled $20,800. The portion that fell in fiscal 2012 raised Kay-Decker’s compensation to $175,012. The maximum salary set by law for the revenue director is $154,300.
K. Brian London was hired as Public Safety commissioner in October at an annual salary of $128,890. “Since this salary is the top of the pay range for your position, we are approving a $16,110 recruitment bonus effective at the time of hire,” Branstad’s chief of staff Jeff Boeyink wrote London in an Oct. 8 letter The Gazette obtained through an open records request. “This will bring your total annual compensation to $145,000.”
Sen. Jeff Danielson, D-Cedar Falls, said Branstad shouldn’t be using bonuses to circumvent pay ranges established by the Legislature. “If the governor is having trouble recruiting talent, the case needs to be made to the public,” Danielson said. “It doesn’t need to be done by fiat.”
Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, agreed: “As a taxpayer in Iowa, this smells bad.”
What do you think of the bonuses? Should state policies be tightened to disallow these type of bonuses?