RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — State troopers suing North Carolina for millions of dollars in back pay say the state's broken promises have forced them into tough spots. It's not unusual for a trooper to have a second job and some are even on food stamps.

About 800 troopers — equivalent to half the force — have joined a class-action lawsuit arguing that the state promised a schedule of regular pay increases when they were hired, but reneged for several years because of budget problems.

The group, which includes some former troopers, is appealing after a trial court judge ruled against them.

The Great Recession caused budget problems around the country. But several states in recent years have given their troopers big pay boosts.

(Story by: Jonathan Drew, The Associated Press)