New salaries study will follow similar reports of last 30 years

In this file photo, workers cross a seventh-floor walkway under a bright blue sky Tuesday morning in the atrium of the Harry S Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City.

In this file photo, workers cross a seventh-floor walkway under a bright blue sky Tuesday morning in the atrium of the Harry S Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City. Photo by News Tribune.

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For some, the Missouri Legislature’s new Joint Interim Committee on State Employee Wages may be going over the “same old ground” that has been reviewed before, by at least two committees in the last 30 years.

But the 10-member committee has a Dec. 31 deadline for recommending to the House and Senate budget committees strategies to increase state employees’ wages.

“It’s not going to be easy, because it takes time to get answers to our questions,” Rep. Mike Bernskoetter, R-Jefferson City, said after the committee chose him as chairman during its first meeting last month.

He also was the key sponsor for the enabling resolution lawmakers adopted last spring, creating the interim committee.

The resolution began with a statistic supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau: Missouri’s state employees rank 50th out of the 50 states in annual compensation.

The Show-Me State ranked 47th among the states in the Census Bureau’s national surveys for calendar years 1986 and 1995, the years closest to the two most-recent Missouri surveys done in order to make similar studies of state employees’ pay.

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