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State employee pay raise is a top priority for Missouri’s governor

State employee pay raise is a top priority for Missouri’s governor

GOP Missouri Governor Mike Parson poses with State Sen. Barbara Washington (D-Kansas City) and State Rep. Jay Mosley (D-Florissant) following the January 18, 2023 State of the State address in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of the governor’s Flickr page)

Missouri’s governor is confident that state lawmakers will approve his proposed 8.7 percent pay increase for state employees by March 1.

Governor Mike Parson (R) unveiled his plan during his January State of the State address. He tells 939 the Eagle’s “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” that this is an effort by state government to stay competitive with the market.

“You can’t ask state employees just to take it on the chin year in and year out. You know we want to retain good people just like private business does out there,” Parson says.

The governor says his proposed cost of living adjustment (COLA) is based on the increase given to Social Security recipients this year and the Consumer Price Index. Parson says it’s critical for state employees, noting there are currently 7,000 open positions across state government.

“That creates a real problem when you talk about early childhood, when you talk about Children’s Division, mental health, corrections. I mean, those are just high-demand areas and not everybody wants to do those jobs,” says Parson.

The governor is optimistic that lawmakers will approve his pay increase proposal by March 1, adding it’s the minimum the state must do to support state employees and Missourians.

Click here to listen to the full “Wake Up Mid-Missouri” interview with Governor Parson.