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Blunt to propose 4% pay raise for state employees

Gov. Matt Blunt, at last year's State of the State speech. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)
Gov. Matt Blunt, at last year's State of the State speech. (UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By AP / Matt Sepic, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO. – Missouri Governor Matt Blunt says he will propose a 4% pay raise for most state employees.

He says pay has not kept up with the cost of living and that state employees have responded to the challenge of doing more with less.

About a thousand nurses also would get an additional 8% raise, and nearly 6,000 police officers would get an extra 4% hike.

Those raises will be part of a budget the governor presents during his second State of the State speech on Wednesday.

Last week, Republican leaders said the state is expected to collect $245 million more than expected this fiscal year.

Senate President Pro Tem Mike Gibbons says education should be a top priority. "We've made a commitment over a period of years to fully fund the new school funding formula. And there's approximately $100 million or something like that that is needed to make that commitment a reality for this coming year."

The Kirkwood Republican also says he'd like the governor to talk about eminent domain and energy prices.

But Missouri Democrats say they'd like to hear about restoring cuts the legislature made to Medicaid last year.

"What we need to do is restore some level of civility to those folks who are less fortunate, but put more enforcement, like in the attorney general's office into routing out waste, fraud and abuse," said Sen. Harry Kennedy (D-St. Louis).

KWMU will have live coverage of the Governor's speech Wednesday night starting at 7:00.