State employee pay raise proposal stalls in Mississippi Senate

Mississippi senators on Tuesday rejected a proposal to give a $1,000 pay raise to all state employees, but a top budget writer said legislators still might consider a raise for lower-paid government workers.

Sen. Hob Bryan, D-Amory, proposed the across-the-board pay raise, saying employees’ paychecks have remained stagnant while their insurance and retirement expenses have increased in recent years. He said caregivers in mental institutions, custodians who clean state buildings and workers who cut grass on public property are making modest salaries and are often overlooked.

“It’s so much fun to poke fun at government…. But the folks who are doing these jobs need to be rewarded,” Bryan said.

His proposal failed when 27 senators voted against it and 24 voted for it. The split was mostly along party lines, with opposition from Republicans who hold the majority of Senate seats and support mostly coming from Democrats.