HomeGeorgia NewsGeorgia state employees will get bonus by the state, but Gov. Kemp...

Georgia state employees will get bonus by the state, but Gov. Kemp announces more surprises for 300,000 workers

Georgia – Georgia’s Republican Governor, Brian Kemp, announced on Monday that state employees, including teachers and support staff in schools, will get a $1,000 bonus as a reward for their work. This bonus will go to over 300,000 people.

State and university employees, about 112,000 of them, will get their bonus by the end of this year. For the approximately 196,000 teachers and school staff, the timing of the bonus will be decided by their school districts.

This bonus won’t be given to elected officials or judges.

Kemp, speaking at the Georgia State Capitol, mentioned that this bonus is a fitting reward for the dedication these workers showed, especially during the pandemic, in keeping the community safe and improving state government efficiency.

The administration under Kemp is considering if they should include permanent salary increases in the next budget. Kemp and other leading Republican lawmakers seem to be leaning towards this idea. Already, they have raised pay for state employees, university staff, and teachers by $7,000 during Kemp’s tenure.

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The total cost of these bonuses is nearly $330 million, which will be taken from this year’s budget. Lawmakers are expected to officially approve this expense with a budget amendment in January. The bonuses will be added to the employees’ last paycheck in December.

“It’s going to be a good Christmas and New Year here in Georgia,” Kemp said as reported by Fox News. “And there’s more good news coming in the weeks and months ahead. So, stay tuned.”

Earlier this year, the Georgia Department of Education released a data showing that statewide teacher retention has dropped for the last two years, something that bothers everyone amid teacher shortage. That’s why many believe that Gov. Kemp’s announcement should be considered as an incentive for educators and state employees to stay on their jobs, while potentially attracting new candidates in the future.

“We have heard from our agency heads about the need to retain those with valuable skills and knowledge,” Kemp said. “This one-time end-of-year retention payment will help us do just that.”

Governor Kemp announced his plan to set aside $104 million every year for improving security in schools. This fund would provide $45,000 to each public school in Georgia, allowing them to spend it as needed for security purposes. The main goal is to fund a security officer for every school, if the local school authorities choose to do so.

Kemp said that the $45,000 should be enough to hire a security guard for every school, which is what the money is mostly for.

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Before, Kemp and other lawmakers gave $184 million to schools as a one-time payment for safety needs.

Also, GOP Lt. Gov. Burt Jones, who backs Kemp’s plan, suggested that teachers and other school workers should get an extra $10,000 a year if they get a permit to carry a gun on school grounds. This is seen as another way to make schools safer.

These proposals for extra pay and school security funding will be part of the state’s revised budget for the fiscal year 2024.

“We are remaining competitive and rewarding our teachers and state employees for their diligent and devoted work in service to the people of our state,” Kemp wrote Monday afternoon on X, formerly Twitter. “Let’s keep working to keep Georgia the best place to live, work and raise a family.”

Governor Kemp is considering new spending options because Georgia’s tax collections are expected to result in a multibillion-dollar surplus, even though there’s a slight decrease in tax revenue. Currently, Georgia has an $11 billion surplus not yet allocated, in addition to a $5.4 billion emergency fund. This gives the governor and lawmakers flexibility in deciding how to use these funds.

In the 2023 fiscal year budget for Georgia, various groups received pay raises. State employees, employees at public universities and technical colleges, public school teachers, librarians in state-funded libraries, and teachers in state-funded preschool programs all got $2,000 increases. Additionally, workers in K-12 school cafeterias, bus drivers, and nurses saw their salaries go up by 5%.

Aurelia Whitlock



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