BOISE, ID. (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little is recommending a 3 percent merit-based pay increase for state employees in his proposed budget.

The Idaho Press reports state worker pay has lagged behind both the public and private markets. Little’s recommendation echoes the Idaho Division of Human Resources’ proposal in its annual report, which called for at least a 3 percent increase for state workers along with no changes to benefits.

Little’s budget chief Alex Adams presented the governor’s recommendation to the Change in Employee Compensation Committee on Tuesday.

A 3 percent merit-based salary increase would follow an average 3 percent increase for state workers in each of the last four years; the state does not provide cost-of-living salary increases.

In 2018, state workers’ compensation was 10.7 percent below other public-sector jobs and 12.4 percent below private-sector jobs, according to the Idaho Division of Human Resources report. Total compensation includes not only salaries for the 25,000 state employees, but benefits and insurance coverage for about 47,000 workers and dependents.

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Information from: Idaho Press, http://www.idahopress.com