- Associated Press - Friday, June 30, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Thousands of Louisiana state employees will see boosted paychecks under a reworked pay scale backed by Gov. John Bel Edwards. The plan carries a $48 million annual price tag, but aims to reduce the millions lost to high turnover in critical, front-line jobs.

The civil service department announced Thursday that Edwards had approved the plan.

The redesigned pay scales take effect Jan. 1, when 38,000 rank-and-file employees receive a 2 percent pay hike. A day later, 6,200 of those workers, like entry-level prison guards, get an additional increase.

The price tag is $15 million in the 2017-18 budget year that begins Saturday. That will grow to $48 million when annualized.

But Edwards says he expects it to save money by shrinking turnover estimated to carry a $114 million annual cost.

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