Speaker Ralston announces plan to give $1,000 bonus to 57,000 state employees

Speaker Ralston announces plan to give $1,000 bonus to 57,000 state employees
FILE: Ralston said the one-time bonus was to honor those front line workers across the state that have worked so hard during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) (Bob Andres)

ATLANTA — House speaker David Ralston said Wednesday that he plans on handing out $1,000 bonuses to state employees who earn less than $80,000 a year.

That means about 57,000 employees will get that bonus once the state budget is approved by the General Assembly.

Ralston said the one-time bonus will honor those front line workers across the state that have worked so hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The move comes about a month after Gov. Brian Kemp announced a similar bonus for the state’s teachers.

Ralston said he and his colleagues were happy to stand behind that measure.

“But then we wanted to see if we could do more,” Ralston said at a news conference Wednesday. “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.”

Ralston said an additional $59 million has been appropriated to cover the bonuses that will span most state agencies.

The speaker said there are some exceptions for employees for the Board of Regents and some other state authorities. Ralston said those agencies may be able to find money from other funds.

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