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Compensation commission operates at half strength

(UPI file photo, Bill Greenblatt)

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A state commission that decides how much money elected officials in Missouri can make is conducting public hearings, despite being undermanned.

There are 22 seats on the Missouri Citizens Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials, whose members are chosen by the governor, Secretary of State, and the Missouri Supreme Court.

But Governor Matt Blunt has chosen not to appoint anyone to the 12 seats he's authorized to fill.

"At this point, given the state of the nation's economy, the fact that there's actually the potential of deflation rather than inflation, I don't know that it really makes sense to give elected officials another pay increase," Blunt said.

Blunt added that Governor-elect Jay Nixon has the option of filling vacancies on the commission once he's in office, though it would not affect this year's cycle of recommendations.

The compensation commission holds its final public hearing Tuesday, November 25th, at the State Capitol.

Recommendations on potential pay raises are due on December 1st. They will automatically take effect July 1st, 2009, unless vetoed by 2/3rds of the members of the State House and Senate.

KWMU also contacted the Compensation Commission's office and Governor-elect Nixon's transition team for this story, but so far neither has commented.


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