Colorado lawmaker pays bonuses amid budget crisis |

Colorado lawmaker pays bonuses amid budget crisis

Associated Press Writer

DENVER, Colorado- Records obtained by The Associated Press show outgoing Colorado state Senate President Peter Groff paid his staff $30,000 in bonuses this year before he left office.

That’s in spite of a statewide hiring freeze and budget crisis that has thousands of state workers facing possible furloughs.

Groff, who now works for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, defends the bonuses he gave eight of his employees. He says many were paid low wages and were forced to work long hours this session because of the budget crisis.

The bonuses ranged from $5,500 to his chief of staff to $1,500 to a secretary.

Republicans say the bonuses send the wrong signal when other state employees are being forced to cut back.

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