Pay Raise Rally

Last year state employees received a three percent annual raise. The second step of that raise, about $65 a year, was scheduled for this year. Now there is talk it will not happen. This concerns members of the Texas State Employees Union.

About 50 of the 200 members in Lufkin gathered in Kiwanis Park Saturday for a pay raise rally. They're upset that the state comptroller says the money for the raise cannot be found.

"Carole Rylander has stated there's no money in the budget for that particular raise, but we have money for other things. State employees would appreciate to have the other part of that raise, especially since our health insurance is going up 12 1/2 percent," said union member Terry Cantrell.

State Representative Jim McReynolds spoke at the rally. He said he'll work to see that the money is found. He blames a Medicaid overrun for the lack of funds.