Edwards rejects pay raise delay for Louisiana state workers

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks to reporters at a briefing on the state’s efforts against the coronavirus pandemic in Baton Rouge, La., Monday, May 4, 2020. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s state workers will get pay raises this year despite the pandemic’s effect on state finances. Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed a legislative effort to withhold $57 million for the salary hikes. Edwards stripped that language from the budget bill with his line-item veto authority. The governor released the vetoes as he announced Wednesday that he signed this year’s $34 billion operating budget. Lawmakers sought to stall the pay raises because of Louisiana’s financial uncertainty amid the coronavirus outbreak. Edwards says he will issue a state agency hiring freeze and has ordered cabinet agencies to set aside 10% of their budgets as a precaution.

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