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Monday, May 20, 2024


June 21, 2001 – An October pay raise for government workers is now law. On Thursday Gov. Charles W. Turnbull signed the bill to fund salary step increases, school repairs and higher health-insurance premiums that was passed by the majority bloc of the Legislature a week ago.
Turnbull line-item vetoed one section of the bill because "it goes beyond what is currently required to get our government employees and retirees adequate insurance protection," a Government House release stated. He said the section is "far-reaching and requires additional research by the Health Insurance Board and input from the public, especially government employees."
In a letter to Senate President Almando "Rocky" Liburd, Turnbull said the bill "is the first part of the process towards giving all government employees and eligible retirees initial salary increases and other benefits in accordance with their negotiated contracts." He said it also provides funding to cover the increased cost of government health-insurance premiums and the deficit in the pharmaceutical program, "thereby ensuring that government employees and retirees will continue to be covered by insurance.".
The governor said other benefits of the bill include a summer maintenance program to get schools ready for the 2001-2002 school year, road repairs and maintenance of sewage disposal systems. It also provides funding for continued improvement of the Internal Revenue Bureau. A projected IRB windfall in tax revenues is the basis for the $100 million allocation.
The release made no mention of a variety of amendments tacked onto the bill in the special session a week ago by the majority bloc senators. The majority passed the measure in the absence of their minority and independent colleagues, who left the chambers to protest the lack of a hearing on the bill.
The amendments included appropriations totaling $2 million for the Legislature itself. The governor had vetoed a similar amendment to another bill for $1.5 million earlier this year.

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