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   St. Louis County may need to pay more for police salaries in order to keep key personnel from leaving.  That's according to Chief Jon Belmar, who presented a draft compensation study to the Board of Police Commissioners Wednesday.  

   The study compared the wages paid to county police personnel with the paychecks delivered to employees of a sample of area departments as well as similarly sized agencies across the country.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the study shows the median pay for police in St. Louis County is $45,500 while the median salaries for other police in the study was $60,000.  Chief Belmar tells the paper the pay disparity is already costing the department officers.

   This isn't a new issue for the county.  Former Police Chief Tim Fitch had proposed the formation of a special taxing district to help bridge the pay gap.  

   The board is expected to revisit the issue next month in advance of the county's 2015 budget-planning process which begins in May.

Published in Local News
Monday, 25 February 2013 01:09

The "Sequester" would hit bi-state area hard

Unless a deal is reached by Friday, massive federal budget cuts will automatically go into effect -- and Missouri and Illinois will feel the pinch. The "sequester" would cut $85 billion from the budget, half from defense and half from domestic programs. As part of their campaign to avoid the automatic spending cuts, the White House Sunday released a state by state breakdown of the impact.

Besides the pain of deep defense cuts which could lay off some 8,000 defense workers, Missouri could lose nearly $12 million in education funding.

In Illinois, the defense cuts would furlough more than 14,000 defense department employees and cut more than $30 million from education.

Democrats have proposed a combination of tax increases and spending cuts, including a tax on income above $1 million and eliminating tax breaks for oil companies.

Republicans have said they will only consider spending cuts.

Democratic Congressman Bill Enyart of Belleville, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the defense cuts would hit the area hard because of the importance of Scott Air Force Base and other military installations to the local economy.

Illinois Republican Representative John Shimkus told KSDK-TV that he doesn't believe a deal will be reached before the deadline.
Published in Local News

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