State Senate To Vote On Plan To Fund Teacher Pay Raises
Despite a historic vote in the state House, the latest plan to fund teacher pay raises has a long way to go.
The bill still has to pass in the Senate before going to the governor's office. This is the last day legislators are scheduled to meet at the Capitol before Easter, but they say they're prepared to stay if needed.
The bill that passed the House of Representatives gives state employees making under $40,000 per year a $2,000 raise and smaller raises for those making more money.
As for teachers, the bill provides first-year teachers with a $5,000 pay raise and increases from there based upon experience. But despite a teacher pay raise, educators say more is still needed when it comes to education.
Revenue for the $447 million teacher pay plan would come from several sources. A tax increase on fuel and tobacco, a $5-per-room tax on hotels, and an increase on the gross production tax to 5 percent. Senators could pass the bill, with changes to the hotel-motel fee; which some considered a deal-breaker. The House would then get to vote on that bill on Thursday.
If the bill were to pass Wednesday in the Senate, it would go to the governor. However, if the Senate wants to make any changes there would be a delay.