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A state-funded study of compensation by Neville Kenning of Kenning found that state base salaries are more than 20 percent below the private sector while benefits are competitive. But the study said competitive benefits do not make up for the lag in pay.

Osborn, who has proposed implementing a market-based pay structure over a period of years, said low pay is creating high turnover rates and not giving taxpayers the level of service they expect.

“While we will be looking at a gradual, multi-year plan, I do believe we have the momentum and data to begin to implement changes in the upcoming session,” Osborn said.

Changes to public pension systems are also expected to be a priority during the 2014 legislative session. Lawmakers are expected to consider a plan to shift newly hired state workers from their current traditional pension system to a more 401(k)-style defined contribution plan.

Republican leaders also are pushing to consolidate the administration of the state’s seven different pension systems.