DENVER – County elected officials will not be getting a raise anytime soon.
Senators killed a bill to ask voters to let county commissioners set salaries for themselves and other officials, like the sheriff.
The constitution gives the Legislature the sole authority to set county elected official salaries, but legislators have not approved a raise in eight years.
Legislators declined to even introduce a bill this year. Instead, they wanted to toss the hot potato back to counties through Senate Concurrent Resolution 3.
However, it failed on a 21-14 vote. It needed a two-thirds majority because it would have asked voters to amend the constitution.
Four swing-district Democrats from the Denver metro area joined several Republicans in opposing the plan.
“This has not come from the people,” said Rep. David Balmer, R-Centennial. “This has come from a group of elected officials who want higher salaries.”
However, rural Republicans, including Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, were some of the bill’s biggest supporters.
Roberts said her constituents are split on the idea of whether county officials should get a raise, and the bill would have let each county decide if it could afford to raise pay, rather than having it dictated from Denver.