State workers hope for special pay bonus ahead of lawmakers' bud - - Columbia, South Carolina

State workers hope for special pay bonus ahead of lawmakers' budget debates

South Carolina State House (Source: WIS) South Carolina State House (Source: WIS)

A conference committee of state lawmakers will begin designating the state's checkbook on Tuesday morning. Senators Hugh Leatherman, Nikki Setzler, and Sean Bennett meet with Representatives Brian White, Mike Pitts, and Leon Stavrinakis at 9 a.m. 

On the table, proposed within next year's state budget bills, is a possible one-time bonus for some state employees. In the Senate's version of the budget bill, there would be a $500 bonus payment for state workers who make below $50,000. 

There are workers pushing for the bonuses, hoping lawmakers can make it happen since they will not receive salary raises this year. Those public workers will also be required to pay a little more of their earnings for benefits, as part of the new plan to help right the state's pension deficit. 

State workers, such as Department of Corrections employee Frankie Moore, say the bonus would not only send the message that lawmakers care for them and boost morale, but would help families that are financially strapped.

"People go to work for different reasons. But the majority of people, when you look at the overall picture, it’s still about finances," Moore said. "You’ve got to survive."

A conference committee of three senators and three state representatives will begin meeting Tuesday at 9 a.m. to agree on the state budget.  

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