Bonus for state employees

Published 10:52 am Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently announced that his amendments to the fiscal year 2017-18 budget will include a 1.5 percent bonus for Virginia state employees and the state’s share of a 1.5 percent bonus for teachers and state-supported local employees effective Dec. 1. The governor will also recommend funding to address salary compression at the Virginia State Police and support career development programs. In total, the governor’s proposed amendments include $130.6 million for compensation.

“Virginia is home to the finest state workforce anywhere in the nation, and we have an obligation to continue to ensure they are compensated for their great work,” McAuliffe said in a press release. “While current conditions do not allow for a permanent salary increase in the upcoming budget, this one-time bonus should send a clear message to our employees that we value their hard work and recognize the need to continue to increase their compensation.”

While Virginia’s revenue shortfall prevents a permanent salary increase in the current budget, the governor and his team have identified several sources of one-time funding in order to pay for the bonuses he announced recently. 

McAuliffe announced one of those sources in the form of a new state tax amnesty program, which will create a special grace period during which individuals and businesses can pay back taxes while avoiding fines and only paying half of the interest due. The program is expected to generate $59.4 million for the general fund, according to the release. The program will be administered in fiscal year 2018. Since 1990, three amnesty programs have been administered, with the last being held in 2009.