The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is seeking a pay raise for its officers.
GBI agents contend they are among the lowest-paid state law enforcement agents in the nation and the poor pay is forcing veteran investigators to leave for higher paying jobs.
The last pay raise for GBI agents and scientists was a 2 percent cost of living increase awarded in 2008. Since then 72 agents and scientists have left the GBI.
The agency is asking state lawmakers to pay GBI agents the same as Georgia State Patrol officers, who can make $15,000 more than their counterparts at the GBI.
House lawmakers included more than $2.4 million in the budget passed Wednesday to boost the pay of GBI agents and scientists, and the issue will soon be before Senate lawmakers.