Executives of a state-owned utility should not get pay raises of tens of thousands of dollars when state workers are being laid off and furloughed, a South Carolina legislator said Wednesday.
Rep. Jim Merrill said he will seek to rescind raises approved for Santee-Cooper executives and bar them from getting a raise in any year that state employees don't get a cost-of-living increase.
"It's the wrong signal to send right now," said Merrill, R-Daniel Island. "It's already a subsidized state agency. ... It's inexcusable."
At its April 29 meeting, Santee Cooper's board approved 3 percent pay raises for the utility's top five executives and approved heftier hikes for three newly promoted executives.
A 3 percent raise for president Lonnie Carter would increase his salary by $12,507, to nearly $430,000. The biggest increase went to the new senior vice president of customer service, Marc Tye, whose salary is increasing 12 percent, or $27,600, to $192,200, the utility confirmed.