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June 6, 2016

Treasurer criticizes veto of investment officer pay bill

state treasurer denise nappier HBJ File Photo State Treasurer Denise Nappier is critical of the governor's veto of a law that would have allowed her to set pay ranges for investment officers.

A bill that would have allowed the state treasurer to set the pay range for her department’s investment advisors has been struck down by the governor. The state treasurer called the veto a mistake.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the bill, allowing the treasurer to determine the compensation for a principal investment officer, ran afoul of current state practice, which has the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) commissioner determine appropriate pay. He said exempting the treasurer from the process would reduce the ability of the state’s classification system to work.

State Treasurer Denise Nappier contested the veto. In a statement she said, “If anything is penny wise and pound foolish, this is it.” She said the veto demonstrates a failure to understand the necessity of filling what she called “highly skilled, specialized positions with the best talent available. The General Assembly got it right when the legislation was adopted 144-1 in the House and unanimously in the Senate.”

Nappier said a 2013 compensation survey conducted by an external consultant found that the upper limit of the principal investment officer’s compensation range as established by DAS and OPM was well below the median pay at similar public pension funds, and found an even greater gap in comparison to what the private sector offers. This has made recruitment and retention extremely difficult, she said.

According to a spokesperson, the current salary range for principal investment officers is $135,000 to $180,000.

Malloy was also critical of the legislature for passing a bill that allowed reduced oversight of compensation at a time when it passed a budget with no raises for state employees, as well as layoffs.

The treasurer said it is irrelevant whether the legislature included money for increased state employee salaries in the budget. She said these positions are not paid out of the general fund, which means the positions have no fiscal impact on the state budget.

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