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Parson signs budget bill that guarantees 8.7% raise for Missouri state employees

Gov. Mike Parson holds up a bill he signed
Sarah Kellogg
St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, flanked by Cabinet members and elected officials, holds up a bill he signed Monday that will increase state worker pay by nearly 9%.

State workers in Missouri will start seeing larger paychecks by the end of March after Gov. Mike Parson signed a supplemental budget bill into law on Monday.

The bill, which passed the legislature earlier in the month, includes an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment for state employees and an extra $2 an hour for some workers with late-night or overnight shifts.

Workers will see the increase a lot sooner because it's wrapped into a supplemental budget bill and not the regular budget, which would take effect in July, Parson said.

“State employees have worked hard like everybody else through the things we’ve been through since I’ve been governor," Parson said after the bill signing. "Great to be able to reward them for that hard work.”

The increase for state employees has been a major priority for Parson for the past 4½ years, he said. Parson announced his recommendation for raises in January and gave lawmakers a March 1 deadline to pass them.

“The state employees do a great job every day out there,” he said. “We’re asking them to do more. The first thing we have to do is make sure they’re being paid a competitive wage, compared to the private sector.”

Parson said he hopes the significant pay increase will mean a lower turnover rate for state workers, especially if compensation is competitive with the private sector in Missouri. He emphasized how vital public workers are to ensure the state government works every day.

“State employees are the true example of public servants because every day in every walk of life, [they’re] helping somebody,” Parson said. “We're trying to get them through a system, and we're trying to make sure their lives are a little better.”

Eric Schmid covers business and economic development for St. Louis Public Radio.
Sarah Kellogg is a Missouri Statehouse and Politics Reporter for St. Louis Public Radio and other public radio stations across the state.