Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell wants to tie state worker pay bonuses to government savings instead of excess state revenues, a proposal that is drawing strong opposition from employee groups and legislators as well.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch
, McDonnell’s plan, which would require state agencies to find nearly $70 million in savings by the end of the 2012 fiscal year July 1, would also require the legislature to amend the two-year budget it approved barely three weeks ago.
“Come on, give me a break,” said R. Ronald Jordan, executive director of the Virginia Governmental Employees Association. He complained that the governor’s plan leaves only 45 days to cut agency costs in order to give state workers a bonus they’re already planning on.
The Times-Dispatch said the governor’s proposal caught everyone completely by surprise, including lawmakers who had already rejected it once before and considered the matter settled “on the same terms as two years ago, with the payment tied to revenues exceeding the state forecast.”
But McDonnell spokesman Jeff Caldwell said the governor feels the bonuses should be “a true performance incentive tied to delivering government services more efficiently and saving taxpayers money.”
Despite the opposition, lawmakers plan to return to Richmond on Monday to consider the proposal.
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