A handful of state lawmakers are joining thousands of state workers who have been fighting for pay raises the governor canceled last summer.
State Sen. John O. Jones (R-Mount Vernon) is one of nearly three-dozen lawmakers lobbying the Governor to make good on the contract. The Mt. Vernon Republican says the thousands of state workers who were denied pay raises should never have been put in this position.
Sen. Jones admits there's not much sympathy for state workers when everyone is suffering, but a contract is legally binding.
Thousands of state workers were set to receive incremental raises this fiscal year (starting July 1, 2011), which would have cost the state about $75 million. The governor last summer abruptly canceled the raises, claiming lawmakers didn't give him enough money to pay for them. The governor's office says the current situation is being considered as part of negotiations for next year's contract. But lawmakers question how anyone can negotiate a new contract in good faith, when the last one was broken.