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Lawmakers: “We are dead last in state employees pay”

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said they support state workers wages to be raised in Missouri.

They said in the past six years, state workers have received almost a zero percent pay raise.

“Out of fifty states we are dead last in state employee pay,” said Democratic Senator. Jamilah Nasheed, from St. Louis.

She said this is unacceptable. So does Republican representative Jay Barnes from Jefferson City.

“I’ve supported pay raises every year. Sometimes successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully, but they’ve never been enough since I’ve been here,” said Barnes.

According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center Missouri ranks 34th in highest cost of living. A state worker shared her story about how she’s having trouble making ends meet for herself and her three children.

“My salary last year was right over $24,000,” said Wendy Battaglia, a nurse assistant at The State Veterans Home in Cameron.

She also said in her 7 years of working there she’s received almost a dollar and ten cent raise.

“That is ridiculous,” said Battaglia.

The state of California averages more than $66,000 each year for state workers, which ranks them at number one. Missouri on the other hand averages about $40,000.

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