Parson's recommendation includes 5.5% wage increase and increase in minimum wage of $15.

JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson announced Monday that he is recommending wage increases for state employees in order to strengthen workplace recruitment and retention.

In a press release, Parson's office said these increases include a 5.5% cost of living adjustment (COLA) and a standard base pay minimum of $15 for all state employees across state government.

The recommendation will be included in Gov. Parson's supplemental budget request which is set to be introduced at the start of 2022 regular legislative session.

The session begins Jan. 5, 2022 but has a passage goal of Feb. 1, 2022. The salary change requires the General Assembly's approval before it can go into effect.

Gov. Parson has recommended 3% and 2% COLA increases for state employees in past budgets, yet he says Missouri state employees continue to be among the lowest paid in the nation.

On Jan. 1, 2022, state employees are already set to receive a 2% COLA increase. If Gov. Parson's FY 2022 plan is passed, state employees would would receive an additional 5.5% COLA increase on Feb. 1, 2022, along with increases for those making under $15 per hour and those affected by compression. 

The total cost of Parson's budget supplemental pay plan proposal is $91 million, including $52 million in general revenue, according to a news release.

His plans for FY 2023 includes a similar 5.5% COLA recommendation and totals $218 million, including $123 million in general revenue.

"With many positions across state government facing turnover rates anywhere from 10% to 100% and vacancy rates from 30% to 100%, it is past time for us to make these investments in our state workforce, which remains one of the lowest paid the nation," Gov. Parson said in a news release. "Our direct care and front line staff often make less than entry-level retail positions. These public servants have tough jobs and rarely receive the thanks they deserve, and communities all across the state rely on them everyday."

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