Governor wants to suspend state worker pay raises next year _lowres

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Gov. John Bel Edwards leaves a press conference following the closure of the 25-day Special Session of the Louisiana Legislatiure Wednesday. The regular session begins Monday. At right is Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ administration wants to scrap pay raises for Louisiana’s state workers next year, saying the state can’t afford them.

The governor’s chief budget adviser Jay Dardenne asked the Civil Service Commission on Wednesday to block annual “performance adjustments” for rank-and-file government workers, called classified employees, in the budget year that begins July 1.

Under civil service guidelines, state workers are eligible to receive a raise up to 4 percent a year if they receive a positive annual job evaluation.

Dardenne says the Edwards administration intends to similarly freeze pay raises for thousands of political appointees, known as unclassified workers, in the cabinet agencies under its control.

The Civil Service Commission didn’t make a decision on the request Wednesday, voting 5-2 to delay a determination until June.