Pending Gov. Rick Perry’s approval of the 83rd Texas State Legislature’s budget, State of Texas employees anticipate their first pay raise in four years. According to the proposed budget plan, most public employees will receive salary increases of 3 percent on average-but a handful are set to receive much more.
Directors of some state agencies expect to receive considerably larger salary increases in 2013. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice Director, who oversees Texas’ largest independent agency, will see an annual salary increase by nearly $73,000 to over $260,000 per year. That amounts to a nearly 40 percent raise while most employees in this department will see a 5 percent salary increase, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The Health and Human Services Commissioner will also receive a significant pay increase, from $225,000 to $260,000 per year. And don’t forget about the state’s head librarian.
Salary trends of most state employees do not correspond with overall wage trends in Texas, and have been outpaced by inflation. At the same time, salaries of state agency executives are not comparable to Texas’ average household income levels. The United States Census Bureau reports that Texas’ median household income was slightly above $50,000 in 2011. While executive level employees must be paid a competitive salary, the state of Texas faces a dilemma when determining appropriate compensation for employees across the spectrum of the government.