FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RICHMOND, VA – On Tuesday, November 17, the Virginia Governmental Employees Association (VGEA) recognized House Appropriations Chair Luke Torian with its 2020 Legislator of the Year Award.
Chair Torian issued the following statement: Virginia’s high-quality workforce is always a credit to our Commonwealth. During this pandemic, state employees have tackled unprecedented challenges and kept Virginia running. On the Appropriations Committee, I have sought to prioritize workers’ rights and fair pay while building a balanced, fiscally responsible budget. We still have a long road out of this recession, but we know that a budget that reflects Virginians’ values will serve Virginia’s workers. I am grateful for organizations such as VGEA whose advocacy continue to lead the way.
House Bill 5005, the Commonwealth’s biennial budget adopted by the General Assembly during the 2020 Special Session, authorized $97.7 million for employee bonuses in fiscal year 2022 as long as fiscal year 2021 revenues meet current projections. This includes a $1,500 bonus for all full-time state employees, a $750 bonus for adjunct faculty at public institutions of higher education, and a 1.5% bonus for state-supported local employees. HB5005 also includes funding for bonuses for law enforcement personnel and language directing a salary increase for teachers if future revenues allow.
VGEA is a voluntary, non-partisan organization of state employees and retirees that advocates on behalf of its members for better pay, benefits, workplace protections and retirement matters. VGEA champions these issues with legislators, the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) and the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) Board of Trustees. VGEA grants the Legislator of the Year Award annually.
Delegate Luke Torian represents House District 52 in the Virginia House of Delegates, serving Dale City, Woodbridge, and the towns of Dumfries and Occoquan. He has held office since 2009 and serves as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. He is also a member of the House Rules and General Laws committees.