Trooper pay raise questioned amid state budget troubles
BATON ROUGE, La. - Lawmakers are questioning plans for a nearly $15 million pay raise for state police as Louisiana grapples with deep financial problems.
The raise is up for consideration Friday by the joint House and Senate budget committee.
Col. Mike Edmonson, superintendent of the Louisiana State Police, says the money is needed to keep trooper pay competitive with other law enforcement salaries. Current starting salary for a trooper is $35,609. Edmonson's proposal would boost that to $46,610.
Dollars for the trooper pay raise would come from a more than $50 million fee hike on uninsured motorists that lawmakers passed in the last legislative session.
Lawmakers say that money might be better spent keeping services from closure as Louisiana faces a $1.4 billion budget shortfall next year and a possible deficit this year.