SALARY INCREASES SAID TO BE ON SCHEDULE

Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the Minnesota Senate will approve state employees’ new contracts before Easter. Gazelka’s comment came as AFSCME union members packed the State Capitol Rotunda Tuesday afternoon. He says lawmakers were waiting for the Dayton administration to confirm that salary increases — two and 2.25 percent in each of the next two years — will come from existing state agency budgets and no new appropriation is needed this year.