Governor Walz on Wednesday approved raises for state employees against the objections of senate republicans. State Senator Julie Rosen of Vernon Center says a bill passed the Senate, which took a common-sense approach to the issue.

“When the state is currently two and a half-billion dollars in the hole, we can not justify a pay increase,” said Rosen. “We passed a bill that kept everything else the same. We have supported state workers by being very strong on pensions, but at this point with many people losing jobs and livelihoods we can’t justify pay increases.”

Rosen says the bill also promised if the economy improves, the raises will return

“The bill also said if in November we see a positive forecast, the raises will be ratified,” said Rosen. “It was really reasonable. We basically said if we have the money we’re going to give it to you.”

The labor contracts for state workers were negotiated in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic. They include a 2.25 percent pay increase effective since last summer and a 2.5 percent pay raise set to take effect in July.