The Latest: GOP looks to bump up prison worker salaries
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on the Legislature’s finance committee’s state budget deliberations (all times local):
Republicans who control the Legislature’s finance committee are planning to give prison workers bigger raises than Gov. Tony Evers is calling for in his state budget.
Evers’ budget earmarks about $23.7 million for prison worker raises. His plan coupled with a 2% annual across-the-board raise for all state workers would move the starting wage for guards from $16.65 to $18.22.
The finance committee is scheduled to review the proposal Tuesday. The committee’s Republican members told reporters before the committee convened that they plan to devote $35 million to prison raises, moving the starting wage to $19, raising upper-level salaries providing lump-sum bonuses for longevity.
A state audit released earlier this month shows the prison system continues to struggle with high overtime payouts due largely to an inability to fill vacancies.
Republicans on the Legislature’s finance committee say they’ll support Gov. Tony Evers’ plan to give state workers across-the-board raises over the next two years.
Evers’ state budget calls for giving state workers a 2% raise in fiscal year 2019-20 and a 2% raise in fiscal year 2020-21.
The Republican-controlled finance committee is set to review the proposal Tuesday. Republicans on the panel told reporters before the committee convened that the raises will make employment at state agencies more attractive in a booming economy with low unemployment.
Republicans who control the Legislature’s finance committee are set to consider portions of Gov. Tony Evers’ budget that would create new prison barracks and set aside millions for prison worker overtime and raises.
Evers’ budget calls for borrowing $15 million to build three new 144-bed barracks, with two barracks at Jackson Correctional Institution in Black River Falls and one at Taycheedah Correctional Institution in Fond du Lac. The proposal comes as the state prison system continues to grapple with overcrowding.
The budget also calls for setting aside an additional $65 million for prison worker overtime costs and $23.7 million for raises for guards.
The finance committee is set to take up the provisions Tuesday. The panel could vote to approve the proposals, modify them or remove them from the budget.
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