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Missouri House Democrats want big increases in state worker pay in 2023 state budget

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Missouri House Democrats said the governor's proposed budget is a good place to start, but want to see many areas expanded, including pay raises for state workers.

Missouri House Democrats introduced their legislative priorities for the state budget Monday at a 1 p.m. news conference. Gov. Mike Parson shared his plan for the state budget Wednesday during his State of the State address. In a news conference that day, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D-Springfield) said the governor's budget is a good jumping-off point -- but she believes it still falls short of some of the Democrats' priorities.

The House convened for a full session at 4 p.m. Monday, at which time lawmakers introduced appropriations bills outlining the governor's state budget proposals.

A centerpiece of Parson's budget plan is raising pay for state workers and public school teachers. Parson proposed a 5.5% cost of living raise for state employees.

"The success of our state relies heavily on these public servants, and we must ensure we are able to recruit
and retain quality team members to serve Missouri," Parson said during his address.

However, Rep. Peter Merideth proposes more. Merideth is the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

"We've heard a lot of pretty awful stories, and I'm hearing from a lot of folks in that department that $15 isn't going to cut it," Merideth dais. "It's a start, it's necessary, but to make up for the losses we had we actually made more than that."

Last week, Quade said the governor's proposal to raise the starting salary for teachers is something the Democratic caucus is happy to see and has been advocating for a long time. Parson proposed raising the starting salary for teachers in Missouri to $38,000 and splitting that cost between the state budget and school districts. As it stands, Missouri has the lowest starting salary for teachers in the nation, at $32,000 according to the National Education Association.

"We are in a good starting place because instead of having to ask for additional funding for these things that we deeply care about, we just we are going to be defending the governor's budget in a lot of those places," Quade said. "I'm sure we'll be asking for more. I know that we'll be shuffling some money around."

Some other areas Democrats would like to see increased spending are public transportation, higher education, mental health resources and community programs.

"We have an opportunity to make up for that neglect for the last 10 years and get real dollars into the state of Missouri to the people in Missouri to hire right into our K-12, into things like early childhood education and after school programming, that will actually grow us for the future," Merideth said.

Check back for updates to this developing story and watch ABC 17 News at 6.

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Hannah Falcon

Hannah joined the ABC 17 News Team from Houston, Texas, in June 2021. She graduated from Texas A&M University. She was editor of her school newspaper and interned with KPRC in Houston. Hannah also spent a semester in Washington, D.C., and loves political reporting.

Comments

2 Comments

  1. Headline should say: “Missouri House Democrats want to buy more votes in 2023 state budget”

    As our country descends deeper into third world S hole status, it is very apparent that it does not matter who votes but who counts the votes.

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