Missouri government workers, last in the nation in their overall paychecks, won't be getting a pay raise in the 2015-16 state budget year that begins July 1, under Gov. Jay Nixon's budget proposal released Wednesday night.
"It will just be a continuation of the 1 percent that they got on Jan. 1," Budget Director Linda Luebbering told reporters Wednesday, shortly before Nixon gave his State of the State speech. "The governor is proposing that there is enough money in the budget to hold Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan premiums flat again, for another year.
"So that would be the fifth year in a row where the state picked up the cost ... to avoid a premium increase for state employees."
There will be 217 fewer state employees, under the governor's plan, "bringing the total reduction in full-time equivalent employees to just over 5,000 since Fiscal Year 2009," Luebbering said. "Some of them could have people in them right now.
"We, obviously, try to plan in advance so that, hopefully, by the time July 1 gets here, they would all be vacancies."
The largest cutback, 147 full-time equivalent positions, is in the Mental Health department, "continuing a current plan" for job reductions, she said.
Another 42 positions are being cut in the Office of Administration's technology (ITSD) operation.
Lawmakers last year passed a bond authorizations bill, and this year Nixon and legislative leaders are working on a list of projects to be done once bonds are sold.
To get the work "moving quickly," Luebbering said, "the governor is proposing those bond proceeds for repair and renovation in the supplemental budget," a nearly-every-year bill that seeks to add spending to the current business year operations.
Nixon's request will include $75 million for "high priority repair and renovations" to the Capitol Complex, with $40 million of that earmarked for the Capitol, itself.
Another $53 million would go for "critical repair and renovations for other state facilities, and $49 million is targeted for repairs and renovations in the State Parks system.