ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Thousands of state employees may soon get a raise.

State Senators Thursday approved a new contract that includes a 2 percent pay hike. The House, which is also controlled by Democrats, is expected to vote on the contract sometime next week.

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The new contract covers seven different working groups, including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 5 and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees. It will expire June 30.

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Republicans tried but failed to add provisions that would require employees to chip in for their health care premiums. The Senate eventually ratified the contract on a 40-25 vote, largely on party lines.

Negotiations for the next deal just started. Gov. Mark Dayton says he will push to include same-sex domestic partnership benefits in that contract.

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