Politics Georgia to use federal funds to provide first responders $1,000 bonus
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Georgia is rolling out a program that will use federal funds to provide first responders with $1,000 bonuses to recognize the "sacrifice and dedication" workers showed amid the pandemic.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) announced the new supplement on Monday, which will be open to all eligible full-time public safety officers and first responders, including law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians and firefighters. It will also provide a $300 stipend for volunteer firefighters.
Employers of first responders will be in charge of applying for the program and allocating the funds to their eligible employees. Eligible employers include state agencies, counties, cities and private ambulance services, according to the state.
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The program will apply to more than 80,000 workers, according to.
The state said it will be using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act - the COVID-19 relief bill President Biden signed in March - for the bonuses.
Applications will be accepted between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.
"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 .
"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. Like they do every day, these heroic Georgians ran toward the COVID-19 crisis and put their lives on the line to protect others," he added.
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One mayor said he views the directive more as 'long-term programmatic changes' and less about "Clinton-era 'we're just going to pay for more cops.'"An old manufacturing town of 64,000 on Lake Erie, about 30 miles west of Cleveland, Lorain has grappled with 11 homicides so far in 2021, up from five at this time in 2020 and seven total in 2019. Rattling the city further, two auxiliary police officers were injured this month by bullets fired into their vehicle.
The state of Georgia said the bonuses "seek to address the negative economic impact of the pandemic on law enforcement" by providing funds to help offset expenses that may have risen amid the pandemic, including rapid testing to return to work, child care costs 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 state .
Georgia officials in February that they were rolling out a new program to provide $1,000 bonuses to more than 57,000 state employees who make less than $80,000 a year.
In January, Kempfor bonuses for public school teachers in Georgia.
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RUSTAVI, Georgia (AP) — Hundreds of demonstrators rallied Monday outside a prison where former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has been held since his arrest after returning to the country last week. Saakashvili, who left Georgia in 2014 and became a Ukrainian citizen, was later sentenced to up to six years in prison on abuse of power convictions handed down in absentia. He came back to the country with the aim of galvanizing opposition as Georgia held nationwide municipal elections, and was arrested hours after posting videos Friday on social media announcing that he was back.