Most Virginia employees can look forward to a 3 percent bonus Dec. 1.
Gov. Bob McDonnell announced the one-time payment today in an address to the General Assembly's budget-writing committees. He said the commonwealth ended the fiscal year in June with a surplus of $448 million.
"After five years with no pay raise, I am pleased that we were able to reward our employees with this performance incentive bonus while simultaneously preserving our core services and building up the commonwealth's cash reserves," the governor said.
The average worker with a solid job-appraisal record should get a pre-tax bonus of about $1,600.
This marks the third straight year that Virginia has ended a budget cycle with more revenue and savings on hand than required to meet budget expenditures, but most of the surplus is already spoken for, and the year-end bonuses will account for almost $78 million of the surplus. While Virginia’s finances appear stronger than those of many other states, McDonnell warned of difficult times ahead if Congress does not change the federal budget and automatic, massive military spending cuts take effect Jan. 1.
The reductions, known as “sequestration,” could eliminate more than 200,000 jobs in Virginia.
"I don't think we can afford this policy. I think we should fight the sequestration as the way to reduce the national debt. We're embarking on a course without precedent in the post-World War II era," McDonnell said. "Here in Virginia, the force reductions would be a double blow."