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Senate approves raise for state employees

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of state employees may soon get a raise.

State Senators Thursday approved a new contract that includes a 2 percent pay hike. The House, which is also controlled by Democrats, is expected to vote on the contract sometime next week.

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The new contract covers seven different working groups, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. It will expire June 30.

Republicans tried but failed to add provisions that would require employees to chip in for their health care premiums. The Senate eventually ratified the contract on a 40-25 vote, largely on party lines.

Negotiations for the next deal just started. Gov. Mark Dayton says he will push to include same-sex domestic partnership benefits in that contract.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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