Just as Nancy Pelosi once infamously remarked about Obamacare that you needed to pass the bill to find out what’s in it, Rep. Claire Levy (D-Boulder) apparently needs to attack solutions before she finds out there is a problem.
Democrats on the Joint Budget Committee, where Levy is the Vice Chair, recently blasted a Republican effort to fix problems with a survey of state worker salaries.
The Democrats penned a response letter claiming there was no problem with the salary survey. Their knee-jerk defense of the survey was in direct contradiction to a recent audit that outlined the exact problems Republicans were attempting to fix.
Why did the Democrats defend the survey then? They didn’t read the audit.
Reports The Denver Post’s Joey Bunch:
Republicans and Democrats are taking sides over the credibility of the salary survey that helps determine whether state employees are paid on par with others in the same jobs, and it’s usually the best argument for legislators to grant raises…
“There have been several reports over the past year that indicate that the Colorado salary survey conducted by your office has not been conducted according to best practices, or according to statutory requirements for determination and comparisons of total compensation,” the Republicans wrote in the July 19 letter to the [Department of Personnel and Administration] executive director, Kathy Nesbitt.
In their own letter, dated Wednesday, Joint Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Pat Steadman of Denver, vice chairwoman Rep. Claire Levy of Boulder, and committee members Rep. Crisanta Duran of Denver and Sen. Mary Hodge of Brighton said no change in the survey’s methodology is necessary.
The Republicans’ view “does not represent the majority opinion of the members of the Joint Budget Committee, nor does it reflect actual problems with how the annual salary survey is conducted by the Department,” the letter states. “As such, it should not change the methodology of the Department in conducting its salary survey.”
The Democrats’ letter adds, “In short, there is no evidence to support the Senate Republicans’ position that the Department conducts its salary surveys following anything other than industry and government norms, best practices and its statutory requirements.”
…An audit presented to the Legislative Audit Committee in June provided 11 recommendations for improving the survey. The first line under “key facts and findings” is, “The Department’s methodology for comparing state salaries to the market does not follow industry best practices…”
…Steadman could not be reached immediately for comment. Levy said she hasn’t read the latest audit, but, “We have a briefing every year on the salary survey and methodology, and the questions I’ve had on that methodology have been answered to my satisfaction.” [Peak emphasis]