On a 4-2 vote, majority Democrats on the Joint Budget Committee approved a 3-percent pay increase for state workers.
Employees say they need the pay hike in order to keep up with inflation.
"We want to be able to attract and retain the best talent,” Committee Chair Rep. Crisanta Duran (D-Denver) said. “One way of doing that is making sure that state employees are able to get their fair share.”
Republicans on the committee say they have concerns about how the pay hike is being calculated.
If the pay raise is approved, 53,000 state workers would see pay increases that would cost the state an estimated $36 million.
With the economy bouncing back, Colorado has an additional $450 million surplus in its $22 billion budget.