- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Arkansas lawmakers have given initial approval to raising hazard pay for hundreds of officers and employees at four state prisons.

A legislative subcommittee on Tuesday approved raising the hazard pay at the Cummins, East Arkansas, Varner and Varner Supermax facilities from 6 percent to 10 percent. The panel also approved raising the additional hazardous duty pay that some employees receive for working in those facilities’ highest security areas by the same amount.

The department says the increases were targeted at facilities with the highest vacancy rates. The proposal doesn’t include a hazard pay bump for employees at the Maximum Security Unit in Tucker, which has had two high-profile disturbances recently.

The department’s director says the $1.4 million needed to fund the increase will come from savings from those vacancies.

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