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Missouri lawmakers set to debate state employee raises

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Posted at 1:42 PM, Jan 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 14:42:28-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's administration is set to open debate next week on increased spending this year for state employee pay and other services.

The Republican governor proposes adding $91 million in additional spending to give 5.5% raises to prison guards, social service workers and people who treat the mentally ill. Parson also calls for paying all state employees at least $15 an hour.

The proposal is set for a hearing in the House Budget Committee Monday, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Parson's administration says the raises could address high job vacancy and turnover rates that have caused problems for years.

The pay raises are part of $5.3 billion in additional spending Parson is proposing for this year, a move possible because federal emergency relief dollars.

The spending plan includes $2 billion in federal funds for schools, mostly for local school districts and charter schools.

The plan includes a $100 million to help state agencies deal with pandemic-related expenses.

Home heating and cooling programs for those with low-incomes, efforts to expand telehealth options for Medicaid patients and senior meal programs also would get funding.