Idaho's Top-Paid State Employees Remain Coaches, University Officials

Jan 20, 2015

An annual accounting of Idaho government payroll shows the state last year paid $1.47 billion in salaries, taxes, healthcare and insurance costs.

The annual report from the Idaho Controller’s Office shows more than a third of the state’s 25,033 workers are earning less than $40,000 each year. About 10 percent earn more than $70,000.

The report shows total state wages in fiscal year 2014 were at their highest level since fiscal year 2009, that's because the state has added workers to its payroll after overseeing layoffs and vacancy savings during the recession.

As in previous years, Idaho's top-paid employee is Boise State University's head football coach. Bryan Harsin's annual salary is $800,009.60. Harsin had a raise take effect Jan. 11, just days after the controller's report was released.

Idaho's top paid state employees

  1. Bryan Harsin, Boise State head football coach: $800,009.60 (salary effective Jan. 11)
  2. Leon Rice, Boise State head basketball coach: $594,297.60
  3. Bob Kustra, Boise State president: $371,104.00
  4. Arthur Vailas, Idaho State president: $357,029.00
  5. Chuck Staben, University of Idaho president: $350,001.60
  6. Mark Coyle, Boise State athletic director: $334,838.40
  7. Marcel Yates, Boise State football coach: $317,512.00
  8. Michael Sanford, Boise State football coach: $305,011.20
  9. Scott Huff Jr., Boise State football coach: $270,004.80
  10. Kenneth Petersen, Boise State dean: $265,012.80

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter earns $120,785, which is an 18 percent increase since he first took office in 2006. The Controller's Office report shows 303 Idaho state employees earn more than the governor.

Idaho's top elected officials

  1. C.L. "Butch" Otter, governor: $120,785
  2. Brad Little, lieutenant governor: $42,275
  3. Lawerence Denney, secretary of state: $102,667
  4. Lawrence Wasden, attorney general: $124,000
  5. Sherri Ybarra, superintendent of public instruction: $102,667
  6. Brandon Woolf, controller: $102,667
  7. Ron Crane, treasurer: $102,667
  8. Brent Hill, Senate President Pro Tem: $20,684
  9. Scott Bedke, Speaker of the House: $20,684

A panel of state lawmakers Friday approved Gov. Otter's recommendation for a 3 percent merit-based pay raise for some state employees. It still needs the approval of the full Legislature.

Find Emilie Ritter Saunders on Twitter @emiliersaunders

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