- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Five of Gov. Nikki Haley’s Cabinet directors will collectively see their salaries increase by about $62,000, as per the Republican governor’s recommendations.

The Agency Head Salary Commission on Tuesday set salaries for six of Haley’s appointees who were confirmed by the Senate this year. Only the salary for the Department of Revenue’s director remains unchanged at $153,000. Rick Reames, confirmed in March, had been acting director since last July.

The approved increases range from less than $4,300 to nearly $27,000. Each followed Haley’s recommendation letters to the panel. None gave any specific rationale.

The last paragraph of each said the director is “well suited for the position, and the salary request is in line with” her or his “experience and demonstrated qualifications.”

She told The Associated Press she leaves such decisions to the agency.

“There is one thing I don’t get involved in, and it’s that,” she said.

The following salaries take effect immediately:

-$159,130 to Medicaid director Christian Soura, an increase of $4,251.

-$159,130 to Susan Alford, director of the Department of Social Services, an increase of $4,251.

-$127,907 to Juvenile Justice director Sylvia Murray, an increase of $9,362.

-$124,973 to Richele Taylor, director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, an increase of $17,328.

-$124,676 to Jerry Adger, director of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, an increase of $26,556.

The commission also approved the salary range for new positions created by last year’s government restructuring law, which was seen as a huge victory for Haley.

The law divided the duties of the Budget and Control Board, which will officially cease to exist July 1. Its director, Marcia Adams, currently makes nearly $193,000. Most of that agency’s duties will transfer to the new, Cabinet-level Department of Administration, which Adams will also lead.

Other duties transfer to the new State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

Adam’s new salary will range between $185,500 and $287,500. The authority director’s salary will range between $166,100 and $257,500, according to ranges recommended by the salary panel’s outside consulting firm.

Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman, the panel’s chairman, noted the state’s supposed to be saving money through the restructuring bill.

Haley must recommend a salary within the approved ranges. Being in charge of fewer people doesn’t necessarily mean a director should make less money, she said. She said it’s about responsibilities.

“When you look at a director, especially the Department of Administration, you’re looking at an agency where we haven’t seen all that it is going to do yet. I hope it takes on a lot of responsibilities. I hope they really see this as taking all the back office procedures of the agencies so they can focus on their missions,” Haley said.

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Associated Press Writer Jeffrey Collins contributed to this report.

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