Texas state troopers get salary hike in new budget

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - About 4,400 state troopers will get an average 20-percent raise in the two-year budget awaiting Gov. Rick Perry's signature.

The Austin American-Statesman reports (http://bit.ly/11gQAy5 ) that the raises will cost the state $100 million. Lawmakers included them in the budget after a state auditor found Department of Public Safety officers were being paid less than officers in major Texas cities.

A DPS trooper with at least 20 years' experience could make a maximum of about $61,800. Now, that trooper could make up to almost $76,000, and up to $89,000 with overtime.

The raises would take effect Sept. 1.

Senate Finance Chairman Tommy Williams says the raises will hopefully "slow the flow out the front door."

Perry has until June 17 to decide whether to veto the budget.

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