Legislative Update: Budget passes with SEANC asking for more

Jul 01, 2022

SEANC was the most prominent voice speaking out against a state budget proposal from the legislature this week that falls well short of recognizing state employees and retirees with significant and necessary pay increases.

Executive Director Ardis Watkins released a statement shortly after the budget announcement. She also appeared on numerous television shows and in articles to plead our case that legislators should go back to the drawing board and come up with a real plan to tackle recruitment and retention problems.



SEANC members stepped up to the challenge as well, sending more than 3,700 emails to legislators explaining the challenges of working for the state and the need for more investment in the state’s workforce.

But neither Republicans nor Democrats showed an appetite for a fight, with all Republicans and most Democrats voting yes on the budget. The budget passed both the House and Senate today with veto-proof majorities.

Most state employees will receive a 3.5% raise, which includes the 2.5% raise already budgeted for this year. Retirees will receive a 4% bonus, an increase of 1% over the already budgeted bonus.

It also includes an extra 2% for DPS employees who are currently on step-pay plans.

The budget also finishes the job of raising the minimum wage for non-certified school personnel to $15 per hour. The State Health Plan and Retirement System are also fully funded in the budget.

The General Assembly adjourned the short session after the budget vote. In short sessions, there is usually little interest in taking on contentious issues, and this year was no different. Our lobbyists have received assurances from legislative leadership that state employee and retiree raises will be significant in next year’s session, and we will hold them to that promise.