While Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell got to announce a bonus for state workers on Wednesday, the one-time check for employees would have been about $263 smaller under the governor's own spending proposal.
McDonnell's budget would have awarded bonuses only if employees helped their departments save twice the projected cost of the bonus, a threshold the state did not meet.
The one-time 3-percent bonuses announced this week are expected to cost the state $77.2 million, meaning the state needed to save about $154.4 million before employees earned their Christmastime bonus. The state actually saved $122 million after $30 million was set aside in a contingency fund to guard against massive federal cuts.
That means employees would have earned a bonus closer to 2.4 percent, state finance secretary Ric Brown told The Washington Examiner. An average state employee earns $43,983 and a 3-percent bonus equals $1,319. Under McDonnell's budget, they would have received $1,056.
Still, it could have been even worse for state workers. Several versions of the budget that passed the House included no bonuses for employees, who have not received a raise in five years. After an overtime session and months of back and forth, the Senate lobbied to put the bonuses back in the budget contingent on a surplus. McDonnell announced a surplus of $448.5 million on Wednesday.