The Oklahoma House has overwhelmingly approved a $7.3 million plan to give state Highway Patrol troopers a pay increase.
The House voted 90-0 on Thursday for the bill by Dacoma Republican Rep. Jeff Hickman. It now goes to the state Senate.
Hickman says one-third of the roughly 770 troopers currently are retirement eligible and that there's a critical "manpower issue."
The bill would boost the starting salary of a cadet from $33,192 to $38,602. Starting troopers who have completed their probation would see their pay boosted from $38,000 to $44,194.
Hickman says the OHP is competing with municipal police departments, 15 of which pay officers more than state troopers. He says troopers have not had a pay increase in more than six years.