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Senate Finance Chair Expects More Debate On State Worker Deal

Chris Jensen

The Senate’s top budget writer says it’s unclear whether the final version of the state budget will include funding for a new labor agreement with state employees.

    Republican Jeanie Forrester of Meredith says there’s been little discussion in the Senate of the deal, which would give state workers a 2 percent raise in each of the next two years at a cost of about $12 million dollars.

Neither the House budget nor the Senate Finance Committee’s spending plan includes funding for those raises. While Forrester didn’t say it would end up in the final spending plan, she said it would come up for debate this month.

“It’s a discussion we needed to have," Forrester says. "At this point I’m guessing we will have this discussion in committee of conference, it may even show up on the floor in the Senate this Thursday.”

As part of that discussion, Forrester is meeting Tuesday with union officials, who say some of the costs of the new agreement would be offset by health care changes.

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