ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Republican-led legislative panel has rejected new contracts for more than 27,000 state employees.

The Subcommittee on Employee Relations voted 6-4 on Thursday to reject the two-year contracts for the two largest state employee unions. Union members packed into a hearing room at the Capitol booed and jeered the vote.

Republicans were unhappy that the contracts called for a 2 percent pay raise for state employees starting in January, and questioned whether health benefits were too generous. They urged Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration to go back and renegotiate.

The panel’s decision isn’t the last word on the contracts. They could still be approved by the full Legislature next January.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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