Friday, June 1, 2007

State Employee Pay Raise approved by House

The Times Picayune reports the House on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a $29.6 billion budget bill for the 2008 fiscal year that provides for increased fire and police supplemental pay by $125 per month, a special pay package for correctional officers to reduce high turnover rate of $6,000 per officer and a modest state employee pay raise of $1,500.

Lawmakers approved House Bill 1 by a 96-6 vote after nearly eight hours of sometimes-rollicking debate and several failed attempts by Republicans to scale back the broad spending increases proposed Gov. Kathleen Blanco and her legislative allies. The budget bill, by Rep. John Alario, D-Westwego now heads to the Senate.

The bill includes virtually all the major spending requested by Blanco and $410 million added last week by the Appropriations Committee.