Today’s Billings Gazette reports that State Government has hired nearly 1.000 new full-time employees since 2004. The report, derived from the Legislative Fiscal Division does not include additional hires for the state university system. In addition to the extra hires a related report shows an increase in average state employee salary of over 26%. Considering that the average state employee is paid $44,590 these 1,000 extra employees are costing us over 44 million dollars per year plus the $733 dollars per month the state pays for their healthcare plan and about $500 per month towards their retirement plan. Not small change by any means.
Also the average state employee salary has jumped over 26% in this same time frame or approximately $9,000 per head. Now forgive me if I am wrong as I took math at Havre High but it would seem that taking $9,000 times the total number of state employees added another 110 million or so to our already bloated budget, not to mention benefits.
The Republicans have been heartily bragging about working towards a state budget cut of 5% this session but it hardly seems enough in light of what some would say is prior excessive growth of our state government over the last 6 years or so.
Read the full story in the Billings Gazette