News Story

New Bill Would Give All State Employees $2K Bonuses

Aims to reward ‘dedication’ and ‘incredible resilience’

State employees receive, on average, a higher annual salary than private sector workers. A state representative wants them to get a little something extra.

Rep. Kara Hope, D-Holt, has introduced a bill in the Michigan House of Representatives that would use taxpayer funds to give state employees a $2,000 bonus.

House Bill 6091 was introduced May 10, along with House Resolution 291, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Carter, D-Pontiac. The resolution says, in part, “State employees have shown incredible resilience and dedication to serving Michigan taxpayers during the COVID epidemic.” Holt’s proposal would cost taxpayers $196 million.

The average annual salary of a state employee in Michigan is $71,924. With benefits included, each state employee costs the taxpayer $128,018 on average, according to the Michigan Department of Civil Service. The average annual wage of a Michigan worker in the private sector is $59,463, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is 21% less than the average salary for state employees.

At the height of the pandemic, 58% of the state’s 49,000 employees worked from home, according to MIRS News. There were 1,178,021 people receiving unemployment insurance payments in the state in May 2020. That was two months after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used an executive order to force so-called nonessential businesses to close, in the name of “flattening the curve.” The average unemployment rate in 2020 increased to 10%.

Hope and Carter did not respond to an email seeking comment.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.