Kemp, House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, and Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan announced the bonuses for state employees Wednesday during a Capitol press conference. They said at the time that they were encouraging Wrigley, who runs an independent agency in state government, to do the same.
Wrigley said the system will mirror the state’s bonus plan.
Fearing that the COVID-19 pandemic and recession would cause state tax collections to tank, lawmakers cut spending 10% in June and didn’t approve any raises for teachers or employees.
But tax collections have been strong during the first seven months of fiscal 2021 — which ends June 30 — and lawmakers approved a midyear budget Thursday that restores 60% of the cuts made to k-12 schools and adds about $70 million to the University System’s budget.
The teacher and state employee bonuses are coming — directly or indirectly — from the billions of dollars Georgia has received through various federal COVID-19 relief programs.