MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker said no state agencies under his control are likely to award merit-bonuses to employees until at least the fall, and said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's action in granting nearly $300,000 in bonuses is his action alone.
"In his case, state agencies that aren't directly under our control, whether it's him, whether it's the superintendent of public instruction, or others, they have the ability to do that," Walker said Thursday after a military facility ribbon-cutting ceremony in Madison.
A spokesperson for superintendent of public instruction Tony Evers said Evers has awarded no merit increases.
Walker said consideration of merit-pay for thousands of state employees is being held off to allow study to ensure equity between departments and positions, and because of tight state budget times.
Walker said, "The first thing we're not doing is looking to pay people more."
Discretionary merit pay was discontinued by Governor Doyle in 2008, with Walker reviving it effective March 11 of this year.
Department of Justice officials said 93 employees received discretionary merit award compensations last month, totaling $289,629.
Among the employees receiving merit bonuses were Van Hollen's top political appointee, Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John, and St. John's wife, who is an assistant attorney general. St. John's bonus increased his annual salary more than $5,000 to over $134,000.
Van Hollen has been unavailable for comment on the bonuses. But Executive Assistant Steve Means told 27 News the merit increases were warranted by performance or retention reasons, and said many of the raises went to hard-to-retain DNA analysts.
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