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Pulaski County Quorum Court passes budget, gives bonuses

The Pulaski County Quorum Court passed its budget Tuesday night, including giving employees bonuses.
LITTLE ROCK, AR - The Pulaski County Quorum Court passed its budget Tuesday night, including giving employees bonuses.

But the county still needs to resolve if the cities will come up with their share for 80 additional jail beds. Otherwise the county will have a $90,000.

After months of committee meetings the Pulaski County Quorum Court passed a balanced budget. Judge Buddy Villines says, "If we can't get the cities to contribute funding for the additional jail beds, we’ll have to reduce our budget. We can only pass what we can show is balanced."

Phil Stowers with the Pulaski County Quorum Court says, "The city of Little Rock has increased its revenues through a tax increase and put more police on the streets, but more police on the streets without having some place to put the offenders really doesn't help the crime situation."

Also within the budget is a cost of living adjustment. It’s a one time bonus for county employees based on longevity. Judge Villines says, "The people who have been here the longest get the highest percentages, and the people who have been here the shortest time get the lowest percentage."

Those bonuses are between 2-3.5%. Phil Stowers says, "We haven't been able to give our employees raises the last couple of years. We lag behind with those we compete with in the public and private sector."

While the bonuses aren’t much, the Quorum Court hopes a little extra money will help employees.

And court wants the public to know the county is in good shape and will do what's financially responsible pending what money it ends up with when it comes to receiving funds from the cities for the jail beds.

Stowers says, "I'm confident within the next 2-3 weeks we'll see this come together and we'll be able to move forward."

The next Quorum Court meeting is December 18th.
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