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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Mike Parson is recommending a 5.5% cost of living adjustment and $15 per hour minimum base pay standard for all state employees. Parson is recommending the wage increase to strengthen workforce recruitment and retention.

“With many positions across state government facing turnover rates anywhere from 10-100 percent and vacancy rates from 30-100 percent, it is past time for us to make these investments in our state workforce, which remains one of the lowest-paid the nation,” Parson said in a press release.

The recommendation will be included in the governor’s supplemental budget request to be introduced at the beginning of the 2022 Regular Legislative Session, which begins on Jan. 5. The recommendation includes:

  • 5.5 percent cost of living adjustment increase for all state employees;
  • Increases to $15 per hour for any state employee making below that threshold; and
  • Increases to address compression issues between pay grades after base pay increases to $15 per hour.

Parson recommended pay increases for state employees in past budgets. According to the press release, Missouri state employees remain among the lowest paid in the nation. On Jan. 1, state employees will receive a two percent cost-of-living adjustment.

The proposal would cost $91 million, including $52 million in general revenue. Parson’s fiscal year 2023 pay plan proposal includes a similar 5.5 percent cost of living adjustment recommendation and totals $218 million, including $123 million in general revenue. 

“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 every day,” said Parson.

The governor is urging the General Assembly to make “critical investments in our state workforce.”

“These pay increases are necessary for our team members who provide dedicated service to Missourians day in and day out,” Parson said.

The 5.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment increase is based on the average increase of four general structure adjustment economic indicators:

  • Consumer Price Index for the Midwest – 6.4 percent;
  • Employment Cost Index – 4.3 percent;
  • World at Work Salary Budget Increases – 2.9 percent; and
  • Personal Income – 8.3 percent.

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