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Gov. Eric Holcomb plans to ask lawmakers for funds to further boost state employee pay

By Adam Yahya Rayes, IPB News | Published on in Economy, Government, Statewide News
Gov. Eric Holcomb ." (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

Indiana has struggled to keep and hire state government employees over the last two years. The state recently adjusted pay scales and gave everyone a 5 percent cost of living increase to fight that constant churn.

Since those November changes, salary data show many state employees saw their yearly salaries increase by $10,000 or more.

“I think they’re much more competitive now,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb in a recent interview. “And now we’re hearing from the cabinet members and other agencies and departments that, whereas they weren’t receiving resumes, now they’re receiving 40. So I think it’s definitely a giant leap in the right direction.”

READ MORE: Indiana boosts state government employee paychecks to fight turnover

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Still, the governor said he plans to ask lawmakers for another increase in the 2023 budget to ensure salaries remain attractive.

“We’ll never be able to match the private sector. But what the private sector sometimes can’t match for employees is the passion for what they do,” Holcomb said. “We’re trying to associate a good wage with the passion that they have for public service.”

Since October, the state has added about 700 new employees, according to the Indiana Transparency Portal. That puts state staffing totals at a peak level not seen since late 2021.

“We’re charged with carrying out core functions that you not only demand but you expect and you better receive. And you’ve got loyal, committed folks,” Holcomb said. “We have a much smaller government. We’ve held the line in terms of the total roles or levels, numerically speaking. And we should be able to keep up with the cost of living.”

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith contributed to this story.

Contact reporter Adam at arayes@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @arayesIPB.