Louisiana lawmakers question Edwards’ $1M pay raise plan

Louisiana

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks during his inauguration at the state Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Gov. John Bel Edwards’ plan to give nearly $1 million in pay raises to top-level political appointees is running into questions from state lawmakers.

New Orleans Democratic Rep. Gary Carter says he’s concerned about giving raises while also seeing a proposed $500,000 reduction in state funding for senior citizen centers.

Edwards administration official Desireé​ Honoré Thomas told Carter the governor proposed the raises because he has staff who haven’t seen a salary increase since they started working for him four years ago.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee scrutinized the raises Tuesday as the panel started digging into the budget proposal for the year that starts July 1.

The Edwards administration says most of the salary increases are 4%.

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