October 25, 2020

Lawmakers: No certainty state workers will get pay raise

Mississippi lawmakers are agreeing to an early set of recommendations for a $6.1 billion state budget, but stopped short of assuring state workers that pay raises are likely.

More budget work is coming in the next few weeks.

The state House passed bills Tuesday to fund dozens of state programs for the year that begins July 1. The Senate did the same on Wednesday.

The two chambers will exchange bills for more work. And, a final round of budget negotiations will happen in late March or early April.

During a House debate, Democratic Rep. John Hines of Greenville pushed for pay raises for state employees, but his effort fell flat.

Legislators are working on a teacher pay raise plan. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Buck Clarke it’s not yet clear if there will be enough money to give raises to other state government workers.

The Clarion Ledger newspaper reported Wednesday that Clarke said funds may become available as the budget is finalized, but that currently the “money’s used up.”