Gov. Brian P. Kemp (R) announced Monday that first responders and other public safety employees will receive $1,000 bonuses for working during the COVID-19 pandemic, following Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) who similarly rewarded his first responders in May.
“As long as I am governor and as long as these members of the general assembly here with me today continue to serve under this gold dome, we will stand with our public safety officials, period,” Kemp said of the decision.
Recipients of the bonus will include law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, along with 911 dispatchers and communications staff.
“Our law enforcement officials and first responders answered the call of duty and bravely served on the front line of our fight against COVID-19, despite the unprecedented challenges thrown their way,” Kemp said. “We are taking yet another step in supporting our men and women in uniform and first responders by providing this well-deserved bonus.”
At least 20,000 sheriffs and deputies will reportedly receive bonuses. Exactly how many other public safety employees will benefit from the one-time bonus is not yet known, but will be in the hundreds of thousands.
The money will be allocated from the state’s Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Separately, teachers in Georgia were also given $1000 in bonus pay after working through the pandemic.
Back in May, DeSantis awarded bonuses in the same amount to 174,000 first responders in the state.
“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,” DeSantis 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.”
Florida’s teachers, along with state Senate staffers, have also received $1000 bonuses in the Sunshine State. That money was doled out from the state’s 2021-2022 budget, and totaled about $3.6 million.
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