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AUSTIN (AP) — Top Republican leaders have approved nearly $150 million in emergency funding to hire 800 new workers at a troubled Texas agency that protects abused and neglected children.

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Under terms of the plan approved Thursday and promoted by Texas Family and Protective Services Commissioner Hank Whitman, the hiring of the additional workers could begin this week.

About 6,000 case workers also would receive a pay raise of $12,000, and approximately 1,100 managers and others were set to see salary increases.

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The nonpartisan Legislative Budget Board said in a letter to Whitman that t was approving $142.5 million for the moves through the end of fiscal year 2017.

Texas Child Protective Services has long been plagued by high turnover and low morale among workers overwhelmed by rising numbers of children at risk.

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