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Missouri House expected to take up state worker pay plan this week

by Cameron Gerber | February 9, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
House Budget Committee Chair Cody Smith, R-Carthage Courtesy/Tim Bommel

Despite expectations it would hit the floor for consideration Tuesday, the Missouri House has yet to take further action on the proposed pay increase for state workers.

The House adjourned Tuesday afternoon after a little more than an hour of session with a handful of bills perfected. While they did not address the reason for the bill's delay, a source within House leadership said the bill is expected to be before the body Thursday, barring any changes.

The bill passed the House Budget Committee on Monday afternoon as a substitute diverging from the governor's original plan.

Gov. Mike Parson's supplemental budget recommendation included a $15 minimum wage for all state workers and 5.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA). The version passed by the committee earmarked the $15 minimum only for direct care workers and agencies, including the departments of Social Services, Health and Senior Services and Mental Health. Those working in state hospitals, veterans homes and the Children's Division would be covered under the language.

The remainder of the state workforce would have a $12 an hour minimum wage under the latest version, in line with where the statewide minimum wage will settle next year after incrementally increasing every year since 2017. Workers would get the 5.5 percent COLA or their respective minimum wage, whichever is greater.

The bill is an attempt to combat high turnover and vacancy rates across state government, Parson said when unveiling the proposition.

A spokesperson for the Governor's Office did not respond to a request for comment, though social media posts around the time of the committee hearing highlighted Parson's original proposal.

Local lawmakers have voiced their support for the proposal, which would benefit many of their constituents.

"It does look like it's going to move forward and be sent over to the Senate, and we'll see what they do with it," said Rep. Dave Griffith, R-Jefferson City.

Data from the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce showed the state as the area's largest employer with around 14,000 state employees calling Jefferson City home.

Click the links below to read the full bill:

• HB 3014: Appropriation bill

Sponsor: Rep. Cody Smith


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