Topeka Gov. Bill Graves' proposal to give state employees a 3.5 percent pay increase on July 1 won Senate approval today.
The pay raises would cost the state $32.8 million. The 22-18 Senate vote sent the measure to the House.
It was the second time the Senate considered the bill.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee amended the bill to make the pay raise for state employees 2.5 percent. However, the entire Senate rejected the bill in that form.
During a Tuesday debate, Sen. Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence, offered an amendment to restore the bill to Graves' proposal. It passed on a voice vote.
``It's a matter of equity,'' Praeger said.
Graves' proposal would provide a 2.5 percent pay increase for state employees in the civil service system to compensate them for another year in their jobs. They would receive an additional 1 percent increase as a cost-of-living adjustment.
State employees not in the civil service would receive an average pay raise of 3.5 percent, but their increases would be based on merits.