June 19, 2020
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler said he will donate a scheduled salary increase of over $5,000 to the Thurston County Foodbank, through state government’s Combined Fund Drive (CFD), which promotes contributions to a wide array of charitable organizations.
The scheduled salary raises for 498 elected officials, including Kreidler, take effect July 1. The increases were set by the Washington Citizens’ Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials, a group the Legislature created in 1987 to review job responsibilities and pay.
The volunteer commission meets every two years to determine if salary increases are warranted for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government. By law, the commission is prohibited from lowering an elected official’s salary.
The commission decided last October to boost the salary of the insurance commissioner to $137,700, up from $132,600.
“State government, like businesses in Washington, are facing tough financial conditions resulting from the coronavirus pandemic,” Kreidler said. “I cannot in good conscience justify accepting a pay increase at this time. And although I am not allowed by law to decline the higher pay set by the salary commission, I can make sure the money goes to a charitable organization that does so much to help those in need.”
The CFD is state government’s program for active and retired public employees. They can give to the charity of their choice through payroll contributions and fundraising events. Each year, over 15,000 workers pledge more than $5 million to 1,700 local, national and global charities.
Employees at Kreidler’s office contributed over $43,000 last fall to various charities through payroll contributions, internal fundraisers and volunteer work.
Kreidler also noted that many employees in his office will not receive a 3% salary increase on July 1. His office will join the effort to deal with state government’s budget deficit over the next two years. The Legislature had approved the pay increase for all state workers earlier this year before the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.