Legislation that would extend a deadline for localities to pay a one-time lump sum bonus with local funds for retirees passed the Senate County and Municipal Government Committee unanimously on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 92 by State Sen. Josh Carnley (R-Ino) would extend the deadline until October 1 to allow local governments to voluntarily pay retirees and beneficiaries a bonus.

Legislation by State Sen. Greg Albritton (R-Atmore) last year provided for a one-time lump-sum addition to the retirement benefits of certain retirees and beneficiaries of the Employees' Retirement System if local entities participating in the Employees' Retirement System approved it. 

The original deadline for local governments to appropriate funds for the bonus was August 31, 2022.

“While we’re trying to do good for folks, we’re also creating some more headaches is all I’m trying to say,” Albritton, who voted for Carnley’s bill, said Tuesday. “Now you’re making them make a decision twice.” 

Carnley estimated on Tuesday about 50 local entities declined to provide retirees a bonus by last year’s deadline.

The bonus would be calculated based on $24 multiplied by years of service in the Employees’ Retirement System.

“This is not mandatory,” Carnley said on Tuesday. “If they choose to participate, they can.”

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email caleb.taylor@1819News.com.

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.