CHARLESTON — Red-shirted teachers and service workers packed the Capitol halls and Senate gallery as the Senate passed the pay raise bill 33-0 Feb. 2.

Democrats said they voted for the bill, SB 267, hoping the House will come up with more than the 1 percent hike for teachers, service workers and State Police proposed in the bill.

Republicans said they agree those employees need more but this is all the budget can handle as they work to turn the economy around.

Those rallying said that the pay raise is important, but secondary to the hikes in PEIA premiums, copays and deductibles that dig deep into their income.