State employees and educators would receive 1 percent pay raises under a proposed state budget that is close to clearing the Legislature.
The proposal provides for spending nearly $5.9 billion in the next fiscal year on public education and government programs ranging from health care to courts.
Spending would increase by nearly $246 million, or slightly more than 4 percent over the current budget.
The measure unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday with little debate.
The bill would go to the governor if the House accepts the Senate proposal, which spends $6 million more than a House-approved budget.
The House provided $3 million for merit pay for teachers, but the Senate earmarked $2 million for stipends for experienced teachers agreeing to move to a struggling school.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.