Legislators set to vote on state employee bonuses

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Monday is a key day for state workers. Millions of their bonus dollars could stay in the government's pocket, if legislators pass one of the Governor's budget amendments.

Governor McDonnell is aiming to change how state workers earn their bonus pay checks. The Governor's amendment wants state agencies to find nearly $70 million in savings before anyone gets a bonus. McDonnell proposes that state employee bonuses should be based on how much agencies can cut, rather than extra tax dollars.

The idea hasn't gone over well with state employees. Josiah Uwanaka has worked for Virginia's Department of Corrections for 18 years. He says losing the three-percent bonus would make things tougher for his family.

"It's not fair at all…I have a lot of children. The bonus is going to help me support my children," says Uwanaka.

Meantime, state employee agencies say there's not enough time to find tens of millions of dollars in budget cuts by July 1st. The Governor's proposal says that if agencies can't come up with the full $70 million, workers will get reduced, prorated bonuses.

The debate drew nearly a hundred comments on NBC12's Facebook page, not everyone backing state workers. While state and private sector employees may not always agree, it's lawmakers who'll tackle the decision as they finalize the budget. Legislators have voted down similar measures in the past.

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