Macon-Bibb Commissioners vote to pay vaccinated county employees up to $500

Commissioners Al Tillman and Valerie Wynn voted against the idea.

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioners voted 6-2 Tuesday night to fund a “Vaccination Incentive Program” for employees on the Macon-Bibb payroll.

Commissioners Al Tillman and Valerie Wynn voted against the idea.

The county plans to use up to $800,000 of American Rescue Plan funding to pay full-time vaccinated employees $500 and part-time vaccinated employees $250.

Employees must demonstrate they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 30, 2021 to receive the payment. The payments will be taxed as ordinary income but will not count toward compensation for pension purposes.

Commissioner Wynn called the move “bribery.”

“The right thing is to get a vaccine,” Commissioner Wynn said. “And you shouldn’t have to tell grown people to do what is right here. We shouldn’t pay them to do what is right here.”

“For whatever reason they haven’t gotten the vaccine, whether it be religious, whether it be political, whether it be personal, this money is not going to change their mind,” Wynn continued. “I can think of a lot of good things to do with this up to $800,000 besides give people $500 because they had a shot or dangle out $500 to take the shot.”

“We believe that we’re about saving lives, and we want to lead by example,” Mayor Lester Miller responded. “We’re not asking to mandate. We certainly could do that, the mandate as well. Other companies have done that. We haven’t even done the mask mandate. We’re trying to incentivize instead of penalize.”

Commissioner Tillman told Mayor Miller he hoped the commission could come up with additional ways to incentivize.

“I think an order of a mandate possibly first,” he said. “We need to identify those folks that have not been vaccinated to ask and find out why they have not been vaccinated before we just start dangling funds. I don’t think it’s going to incentivize them. We need to find out why they’re not.”

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Categories: Bibb County, COVID-19, Featured, Local News

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