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Senate committee approves raises for Arizona highway patrol

PHOENIX — An Arizona Senate committee has approved a bill giving state police and other Department of Public Safety workers a $40 million raise over the next three years.

House Bill 2691 by Republican House Speaker Andy Tobin originally asked for $2.9 million for each of the next three years, but amendments to the bill have increased that amount significantly.

The House-passed bill allocated $8.1 million in 2014, $13.3 million in 2015 and $18.8 million in 2016. for a total of $40.3 million.

Tobin said Arizona DPS officers are underpaid and the raises are necessary to retain officers. The Senate appropriations committee unanimously approved the bill Tuesday.

Because the bill involved an appropriation not included in Gov. Jan Brewer's budget proposal it will likely change.

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