Governor Brian Schweitzer recently agreed to raise the pay for state workers by 10% over two years, but the pay raise will only go into effect if also approved by the state legislature in the upcoming session. Montana Senate Majority leader Jeff Essmann argues that without resolving the unfunded pension liabilities, a pay raise will only increase those liabilities and cause an extra burden for taxpayers. Essmann adds, “we have to deal with that elephant in the room before we get to the pay plan.”

Jeff Essmann on the 10% pay raise: