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Proposed bill would give public access to all government employee salary information

Local

BOISE — A new bill would make all public official’s payment information public information.

Senate Bill 1274 amends existing public information law to allow for all bonuses, severance packages, other compensation or vouchered and unvouchered expenses for which reimbursement was paid, to be available to the public.

Under the current law only pay grade, gross salary and salary history are public information.

Sen. Mary Souza from Coeur d’Alene, the sponsor of the bill, said she saw a need to make that information publicly available after the editor of a local newspaper attempted to find out how much a school superintendent was paid from a severance package.

“We thought it would be best to change the wording of the statute to include those other forms of payment,” Souza told EastIdahoNews.com. “We can already see the contract as public record. This is a form of a contract and salary payment, it’s just a severance package.”

Souza’s bill will also create a public information “custodian(s)” position within state and local governing bodies who would handle all public information requests.

Souza said this will help cut down the amount of time it takes to fill records requests.

She said the bill has received a lot of support in the legislature and is hopeful it will pass. The bill was referred to the State Affairs Committee Thursday.

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