Speaker hands out bonuses across party lines

Speaker Rusty Bowers

Some staff get extra $20K

By Julia Shumway | Arizona Capitol Times

All House employees received raises of at least 3% in July, but many political staffers in the chamber also got bonuses in the past year — some as high as $20,000.

Records provided by the House show the largest lump-sum payments went to top Democratic staff, who say they were offered substantial bonuses instead of the permanent raises they requested. Republican majority staff, security guards, assistants and financial staff have also received pay beyond what their contracts call for within the past three years.

Documents provided by the House that cover the past three years show that former speakers J.D. Mesnard and David Gowan gave bonuses to political staffers. But the vast majority of the more than $200,000 worth of bonuses the chamber has shelled out in the past three years has been under current Speaker Rusty Bowers’ watch.

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