ATLANTA, Ga. – On February 10, Governor Brian Kemp announced plans to pay nearly 60,000 state employees a one-time bonus of $1,000.
Speaker David Ralston (R – Blue Ridge), flanked by Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan (R) and other lawmakers, said that the proposal was actually an extension to Kemp’s plan outlined in the State of the State speech last month.
“We wanted to extend that $1,000 bonus beyond our teachers to many of our frontline state employees who have also served our citizens through the worst days of this pandemic,” said Ralston.
Kemp reiterated that this bonus couldn’t come at a better time for many families that struggled through the pandemic.
“Our state employees have worked incredibly hard despite a global pandemic. They have been going above and beyond the call of duty to deliver essential services to our most vulnerable, keeping our businesses open and delivering financial assistance to those who quite honestly many days were losing hope,” said Kemp. “Like so many hardworking Georgians, they juggled jobs and school and the new normal for their kids and their families like we all have and to those of [you] here today we just simply cannot thank you enough.”
Much of the flexibility that allows Georgia to have an opportunity to propose legislation like this comes from the federal CARES Act passed by Congress and a 6.1% increase in state revenue compared to this time last year.
In total, $59 million will be set aside to cover the bonuses.
Not all state employees will be eligible. Those making over $80,000 a year or who work for the Board of Regents may not see these bonuses.
State law still requires that both the House and Senate have to agree on the proposed amendment before it moves to the Governor’s desk.