It appears Florida Senate staffers will join police, firefighters, and paramedics in receiving bonuses for working through the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Sunday report, all 117 aides to Florida Senators will be receiving a $1,000 bonus for their work during the uncertain times when the pandemic hit in March of 2020.
Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Citrus) made the decision to pay the staff extra, and wrote a letter thanking them for their dedication to the people of Florida.
“Like other front-line workers across our state, Senate District Staff worked tirelessly during the pandemic to address the myriad essential needs of our constituents,” that letter reportedly said. “From assisting with re-employment claims to food banks to identifying testing and vaccine locations and more, you served as a beacon of hope for Floridians who, in many cases, felt like they had nowhere else to turn.”
The legislative session in Florida ends in March, but Senate staffers worked through their usual break, just as the uncertainty of the pandemic began to set in, and lockdowns began nationwide.
“Constituent services are the most important operation of any Senate office and I want you to know how much I respect the critical work you do each and every day for the people of our state,” Simpson’s letter continued.
Each of the 40 state Senators has up to four aides on his or her payroll.
It is unclear whether Florida House aides will receive a similar bonus.
Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) approved $1000 bonus checks for nearly 175,000 first responders in the state, including police, firefighters, and paramedics, all of whom also worked through the pandemic.
“Supporting our law enforcement and first responders has been a top priority for my administration, and it has never been more important than over the last year. As a state, we are grateful for their continued service to our communities,” he said at the time. “This one-time bonus is a small token of appreciation, but we can never go far enough to express our gratitude for their selflessness.”
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