CHEYENNE (AP) — Gov. Matt Mead is pushing to give Wyoming state workers a pay raise. Mead on Friday unveiled his state budget recommendations for the coming two-year budget cycle. He addressed reporters by phone from the Middle East, where he and first lady Carol Mead spent Thanksgiving visiting with troops from Wyoming.

State employees got their last cost-of-living increase in 2009, while their required retirement contributions have gone up since then. A recent state report found the average salary of state executive branch employees had declined from $50,628 in 2011 to $50,448 in 2012. Mead’s proposed $3.3 billion general fund budget calls for roughly $88 million for employee pay raises. Of that amount, he’s calling for roughly $49 million for state employees and $38.5 million from school funds for raises in the education system.

Mead’s budget proposes a 2.5 percent increase in salary for state employees and workers at the University of Wyoming in 2014 and again in 2015. He said he wants to tie some of the additional salary money to employee evaluations so the state can reward exceptional performers with merit pay increases.

The governor proposes to hike salaries about 2 percent for community college employees and workers in K-12 education. The Legislature could consider additional increases for them in the state’s supplemental budget in the 2015 legislative session.