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Our Opinion: Small change could benefit state employees

April 28, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

A small change in the way the state pays its employees could help them with their budgeting, with no real downside to the state.

Rep. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City, is sponsoring House Bill 2090, which would allow state employees to be paid on the same day every two weeks. Currently, they are paid on the first and 16th of each month.

Griffith introduced the bill at the request of the state Office of Administration.

As we previously reported, Griffith said the change would allow state workers, many of whom are his constituents, to better budget for the regular expenses and for special occasions, such as holidays.

"Many of our state employees live paycheck-to-paycheck, and some of them not only have jobs here with the state but other jobs. ... Some even have other full-time jobs in order to provide for their family," Griffith said. "This is a very common-sense bill, one that I think is going to be a real benefit to them."

The state previously paid its employees once a month switching to twice monthly. This would simply tweak and simplify the current paydays, so employees would always know the days -- and wouldn't have to follow the actual dates -- that they would be paid.

The bill has been introduced numerous times in the past. Despite not having much opposition, the change hasn't yet made it into state law.

"Really, this is one of those no-brainer type deals and are supported," Rep. Yolanda Young, D-Kansas City, said in a story we recently published.

"Here's the thing about this bill, we're competing to get workers right now," said Rep. Mike Haffner, R-Desloge, the committee's chairman. "This gives us maybe something up there were really almost little to no cost, and helps us to compete for these workers that were competing with the corporate world and for a lot of these jobs."

Missouri is home to more than 50,000 state employees, with more than 14,000 of them living in the Jefferson City area.

It's a simple change, but a commonsense change. It has the potential to help state employees and help the state with recruitment. We hope the legislature finally passed it this year.

News Tribune

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