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Commissioners vote to increase minimum wage to $20 an hour for Travis County employees

The increase follows a similar move from the Austin City Council last week.

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas — The Travis County Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted unanimously to raise wage to County employees to $20 an hour.

"A lot of employees have been waiting a long long time to make more and survive in this community," said Precinct 4 Commissioner Margaret Gómez. "Let's make an investment in our employees." 

The new wage is set to go into effect on Oct. 1. Currently, Travis County employees are on a $15 minimum wage.

Commissioners also approved a 5% pay increase for County employees across the board.

Other pay increases include a 3% cost-of-living adjustment for retirees, as well as an increased entry-level salary for corrections officers – up 6.7%, to $50,000. The minimum salary for deputies will rise to $63,000 – a 14.1% increase.

Around $48 million will be dedicated to the costs of all compensation increases.

The move follows an almost identical move by the Austin City Council last week, which also voted to pass a budget that included a minimum wage increase to $20 an hour.

In addition to the increase, the Austin city manager has been directed to develop a plan each year to reach a minimum wage of $22. After that is reached, the average of the annual increases in the Consumer Price Index in Texas will be used to increase the rate each year.

In a press conference on Sept. 1, Travis County Judge Andy Brown said the commissioners wanted County employees to know that they are valued.

"If we want people to come back to work, then we need to treat people like they are essential, and Travis County has done that," he said.

Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez also spoke at the conference, saying this will help her office recruit more deputies.

The new budget also includes funding for things like public safety, mental health services and staffing during elections.

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