ABILENE, Texas -

Taylor County commissioners on Tuesday approved a pay increase for all jail and sheriff's department employees who currently make less than $30,000.

That includes raising the starting pay for jailers from about $27,000 to $30,000 per year.

The pay hikes will impact 63 staff members at the Taylor County Jail and five at the sheriff's office. The Taylor County Jail presently has a total of 110 correctional employees.

Currently the Taylor County Jail is short 15 jailers. The money for the increase will come from surplus money resulting from the 15 vacancies.

Taylor County Sheriff Ricky Bishop requested the increase, having previously noted higher pay was needed to attract and maintain jail workers.

The new salary rates will go into effect Monday, June 9, the first day of the next pay period.