Lawmakers in North Carolina say the state Department of Transportation misinterpreted a state budget provision and gave about 5,300 workers pay raises as high as 65 percent.
The News & Observer reported Wednesday that the 2018 provision gave NCDOT funds to boost salaries that were no longer competitive, but lawmakers say the agency misunderstood how much funding it got.
Three state budget chairmen say NCDOT was supposed to use 2 percent of payroll expenses for raises, but it instead interpreted the provision to mean it could use 2 percent of the state’s $3.7 billion in highway funds.
NCDOT has since spent nearly $30 million on the pay hikes. NCDOT officials say they stand by their interpretation of the provision.