GOP lawmakers reject pay raises for Wisconsin State Patrol

The Joint Committee on Finance on Wednesday. (Source: WMTV)
The Joint Committee on Finance on Wednesday. (Source: WMTV)(NBC15)
Published: Dec. 18, 2019 at 6:52 PM CST
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The state House’s Joint Committee on Finance brought up a proposal that could increase the pay of state workers on Wednesday. However, the Wisconsin State Patrol was left off that list of agencies.

Representatives from the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association say they are disappointed the raises for State Patrol weren't even considered, but are hopeful they can find a compromise.

Speaker Robin Vos says the 20-percent raise State Patrol asked for

. He did say he would consider a 9-percent increase, however.

The reason the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association was asking for the raise is because they say they are the lowest-paid law enforcement agency in Wisconsin.

Chad Thompson, president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association, says the starting pay for a state trooper is around $21 an hour, with the highest-paid staff member in the organization making $31 an hour.

"By having lower compensation, it makes it that much harder for us to find individuals that you, as the citizens, want out there as a law enforcement officer,” Thompson says.

"We have lost a number of employees to local agencies, one of them I can think of is about a five-year employee, he is now well above what I make as a 22-year employee in the state of Wisconsin. We’re not in the same ball park - he's playing baseball and I’m playing pickle ball,” according to Thompson.

Speaker Vos agreed to revisit the conversation in January.

Also on Wednesday, that same bipartisan legislative committee unanimously approved pay raises for University of Wisconsin and state employees. This includes a 2-percent pay raise in 2020 and 2021. The raises are for state workers, University of Wisconsin system employees and workers on the UW-Madison campus.

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