The Texas legislature gave most state employees a 3 percent pay raise over the next two years, but top state agency executives got much larger pay hikes — some that are much more than many of their employees make in annual take-home pay, says the Austin American-Statesman. Criminal justice director Brad Livingston soon will be making $260,000, up more than $73,000 from his current salary — a nearly 40 percent increase. Board of Pardons and Paroles Chairwoman Rissie Owens' salary will jump from $126,500 to $172,000. Lance Lowry, president of the union that represents correctional officers called Livingston’s pay hike “shameful” Lowry said, “As a leader of the team, he should get the same percentage increase as his rank-and-file employees get.” Texas' correctional officers got a 5 percent pay hike, far less than the 14 percent increase that the union had requested, citing deteriorating working conditions and chronic staffing shortages at several prisons in oilfield areas where most other jobs pay much more. Texas correctional officers are among the lowest paid in the United States.