Gov. Kemp Announces Federal Funds Will Be Used to Pay Georgia First Responders $1K Bonuses

Posted: Sep 27, 2021 11:45 PM
Gov. Kemp Announces Federal Funds Will Be Used to Pay Georgia First Responders $1K Bonuses

Source: Michael Holahan/The Augusta Chronicle via AP

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced Monday that funds from the American Rescue Plan Act will be used to give $1,000 bonuses to all eligible public safety officials and first responders.

Full-time Law enforcement officials, firefighters and emergency medical technicians are among the groups eligible for the pay supplement. Volunteer firefighters will receive a $300 stipend.

"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 in a press release

"Working with Speaker Ralston and the General Assembly, today, we are taking yet another step in supporting our men and women in uniform and first responders by providing this well-deserved bonus," he continued. "Like they do every day, these heroic Georgians ran toward the COVID-19 crisis and put their lives on the line to protect others. My family and the state of Georgia deeply appreciate all they do. Thank you!"

This new program will apply to more than 80,000 workers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Employers of first responders will be be responsible for applying for the program and distributing the payments to their employees. 

The governor's Office of Planning and Budget said in a release that the program "would seek to address the negative economic impact of the pandemic on law enforcement by providing a pay supplement to offset expenses these employees likely may have incurred as a result of working in a frontline law enforcement or public safety capacity," which may have included rapid COVID-19 testing to return to work, child care costs, home decontamination services and isolation lodging.

"This program was established in recognition of the sacrifice and dedication those individuals have shown in serving Georgians and their communities during the COVID-19 Pandemic," the OPB said.

In January, Kemp announced $1,000 bonuses for all K-12 public-school teachers and staff members in the state.