The Missouri Legislature has passed an extra spending bill for the current state budget year. Gov. Mike Parson requested the midyear funding.
The plan would cost taxpayers an additional $627 million.
It primarily includes an 8.7% pay increase for all of Missouri’s roughly 55,000 state workers, in addition to a $2-per-hour bump in pay for group care employees working nights and weekends.
Parson asked lawmakers to pass the package to have a pay raise in place by March 1. Back in January, the governor said Missouri had about 7,000 state government job openings and his pay increase request would help to stay competitive with the private sector.
The Missouri Senate voted 29-4 Wednesday to pass the legislation. During Senate passage, State Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Lincoln Hough, R-Springfield, highlighted one notable omission from the pay increase.
“The House did remove all elected officials, both the General Assembly and our statewide officials. There was some discussion early on about the possibility of technically voting on a pay raise. We have carved ourselves out of that,” said Hough.
Other highlights of the bill include $20 million in school safety improvement grants, $300 million in disaster relief for Missouri cities and counties, and $600,000 to address a black vulture problem in parts of Missouri.
“If anyone has paid attention to some of the goings on in mainly the southern part of the state, although it’s becoming an issue in the middle part of the state also, but our livestock producers are battling, quite frankly some invasive species. And so, we’ve been working with the Department of Agriculture, USDA, as well as the Missouri Department of Conservation to come up with a mitigation plan,” he said.
Hough told fellow Senators that this is the first step in that direction.
Sen. Bill Eigel, R-Weldon Spring, who voted against the measure, said he was concerned about the spending increase.
House Bill 14 heads to Gov. Mike Parson’s office.
Story by Anthony Morabith and Alisa Nelson
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