JBE 16-32

Executive Branch--Merit Increase Freeze

WHEREAS,   pursuant to the provisions of Article IV, Section 5 of the Louisiana Constitution of 1974, as amended, and the Preamble Section 10.C. of Act 17 of the 2016 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature, the Governor may issue executive orders which limit the expenditure of funds by the various agencies in the executive branch of State government; and
WHEREAS,   underlying assumptions and needs in the development of the current year's state budget would be altered by a decline in the State’s revenues and the interests of the citizens of our State are best served by implementing fiscal management practices to ensure that appropriations will not exceed actual revenues;
WHEREAS,   the State Civil Service Commission, on June 16, 2016, adopted a rule suspending the ability of an appointing authority to grant performance adjustments to classified employees and also prohibits classified employees from gaining eligibility for a performance adjustment for the period from June 29, 2016 through June 29, 2017; and
WHEREAS,   to ensure that the State of Louisiana continues prudent money management practices, the interests of the citizens of the State of Louisiana are best served by implementing a similar freeze on the ability of unclassified employees within the executive branch of state government to receive salary increases.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JOHN BEL EDWARDS, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1:  The authority to award merit increases for all unclassified employees is frozen beginning immediately and continuing through June 30, 2017. During this period of suspension, no appointing authority may grant a merit increase to any unclassified employee nor may any unclassified employee gain eligibility for a merit increase without written approval of the commissioner of administration.
SECTION 2:  All other elected state officials or entities with constitutional authority are urged to join in this effort to preserve state services to our citizens by exercising their authority to suspend the awarding of salary increases to unclassified state employees starting immediately and continuing through the duration of the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
SECTION 3:  This freeze shall not affect promotions and performance planning and review requirements. Appointing authorities must continue to comply with all Civil Service Rules regarding performance planning and review of employees.

John Bel Edwards

Tom Schedler
Secretary of State