- Associated Press - Friday, June 3, 2016

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The chairman of an Arkansas commission that sets salaries for the state’s top elected officials said Friday the panel is not considering any pay hikes since other state employees didn’t get a raise this year.

Independent Citizens Commission Chairman Larry Ross said the panel cancelled a meeting that had been scheduled for June 14 since state employees won’t be getting a cost-of-living adjustment for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The commission had initially planned to hear from state budget officials this month about state employees’ COLAs. Ross indicated last month that a pay raise for elected officials was unlikely, saying he believed any increases should in “lockstep” with those of other state employees.

“There was no need for that meeting since no other COLAs are being given to any other state employees,” Ross said.

The seven-member panel last year voted to more than double legislators’ salaries and granted substantial raises to constitutional officers, judges and prosecutors. It was created through a constitutional amendment voters approved in 2014 to review and adjust salaries for the state’s top elected officials.

The salaries for the posts had previously been set by the state Constitution, which allowed the Legislature to make annual cost-of-living adjustments.

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