Lawmakers eye pay raise for state employees & university faculty members

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As Mississippi lawmakers work to finalize the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, it appears that state employees are in line for a raise. 

According to Mississippi Today and the Associated Press, legislators have agreed to a 3% raise for state employees and a 1% raise for staff members at Mississippi’s public universities and community colleges. 

Senator Briggs Hopson, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, told the AP’s Leah Willingham that the raises would cost the state around $26.4 million—$13.9 million for state employees and $12.5 million for universities and community colleges. The AP story explains that the leaders of each institution will be able to decide which employees get a raise.

The final budget proposal is awaiting approval from the House and Senate.

A teacher pay raise for the state’s K-12 educators passed earlier in the session will cost the state around $50 million. The bill, which bounced back and forth between chambers, raises the starting salary for Mississippi teachers from $35,890 to $37,000 as well as provides a $1,000 raise for current teachers. 

Additionally, the bill raises the starting salary for assistant teachers to $15,000.

The 2021 legislative session is winding down, but lawmakers could leave a few days open to return as the state prepares to receive billions of dollars from the $1.9 trillion relief package passed in D.C.

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