AUGUSTA — The Maine Senate has passed a bill to provide pay hikes to state law enforcement officers.

The Senate gave initial approval to the bill Wednesday. The measure would provide five percent pay raises to state law enforcement officers such as state troopers, game wardens and fire marshals.

Supporters of the pay increase say it’s important so the state can recruit and retain capable law enforcement officers at the state level.

They also say salaries for state law enforcement officers have been flat for too long while cost of living expenses have risen.

The bill still faces final votes in both the House and the Senate.

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