Thursday, June 06, 2013
Livingston, Owens get fat pay hikes far exceeding their employees
The Austin Statesman reported last evening that Brad Livingston, executive director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, received a whopping $73,000 raise in the most recently approved state budget - nearly a 40% increase. He will now make $260K. Also, "Board of Pardons and Paroles Chairwoman Rissie Owens’ salary will jump from $126,500 to $172,000," for a 36% increase. See the rest of the story for more examples of agency executives receiving fat pay hikes far beyond those received by their employees, but these two criminal-justice examples are among the most eye-popping. My question is "Why?" Brad and Rissie a) aren't likely to go anywhere and b) aren't irreplaceable if they do. Why increase their salaries by more than a third? Who gets those kind of raises in this economy? I hadn't tracked the budget process closely during session so Grits didn't realize this was happening. Indeed, I'm not sure very many people did in the entire state. Bad optics.