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Missouri's legislature just voted to give a nearly 9% raise to state workers

Lawmakers walk up the steps of the Missouri State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Jefferson City.
Brian Munoz
St. Louis Public Radio
Lawmakers walk up the steps of the Missouri State Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, in Jefferson City.

The Missouri Senate passed the first of two supplemental budgets on Wednesday. With no changes made to the bill, it now goes to Gov. Mike Parson, who’s expected to sign it.

The Missouri Legislature passed a supplemental budget bill Wednesday that funds state worker raises.

Because they made no changes to the House version, the legislation now goes to Gov. Mike Parson who’s expected to sign it. It passed 29-4

Parson announced his recommendation for state worker raises in January and gave lawmakers a March 1 deadline to pass them.

Under the legislation, state workers would see an 8.7% cost of living adjustment. Additionally, some people would also earn an extra $2 an hour for working late night or overnight shifts.

Those qualified for that additional raise include certain staff members in the departments of Social Services, Corrections and Mental Health and the Missouri Veterans Commission.

Appropriations Chairman Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, said they’ve listened to state departments repeatedly speak on the struggle to retain and recruit employees.

“Hopefully the communication to our state workers is that we do value the work that you're doing. We don't take you for granted. And we're trying to make steps in the right direction to get you the compensation that you need,” Hough said.

The bulk of the nearly $627 million dollar supplemental budget goes towards that pay plan, though the House did remove raises for statewide elected officials and lawmakers.

Sen. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, voted against the bill. He said while he wanted state workers to be paid their worth, he did not approve of what he believes is the continued expansion of state government.

“Have we bloated and gone out of control and to where we have so many positions that we don't even know who's who or why we even have these positions,” Brattin said.

Also included in the bill is $20 million for school safety grants, $275 million in spending authority for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, and funding for other projects.

Copyright 2023 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Sarah Kellogg is St. Louis Public Radio’s Statehouse and Politics Reporter, taking on the position in August 2021. Sarah is from the St. Louis area and even served as a newsroom intern for St. Louis Public Radio back in 2015.
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