Nixon, GOP agree on state worker raises

Before leaving on a week-long spring break from legislative duties, members of the House approved a $27.1 billion budget proposed by Gov. Jay Nixon containing $54.1 million to finance 2 percent raises for state employees.

Although the increase represents no great windfall for the 54,000-plus prison guards, social service workers and other employees who keep the wheels of state government turning, the boost will chip away at one of Missouri’s more dubious achievements as the state that pays its workers the least.

“Missouri state employees are the worst paid in the country. If you want to have an effective government, I think part of that means having staff for which there is not a huge turnover rate,” said state Rep. Jay Barnes, R-Jefferson City. “We want to be able to attract better employees and keep good employees and part of that means offering a competitive compensation package.”

The raise seems likely to hold up as the debate over the state’s financial blueprint for the fiscal year beginning July 1 moves to the Senate.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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