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Economic woes kill plan for Travis County bilingual pay bonus

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 by Austin Monitor

Travis County currently has a pilot program that pays an additional $900 per year to bi-lingual employees who pass a language test. But it appears that the program will be postponed for a couple years.


County staff had conducted an audit of new employees across 24 departments to determine how many positions would meet the requirement. Judge Sam Biscoe told In Fact Daily, “As it worked out, a whole lot more people fall into that category in Travis County than we imagined and the cost is a whole lot greater than we thought too.” The projected cost of giving the test and the added pay could top $400,000 in FY2010, a year in which the county is facing budget shortfalls.


“I think we will implement the new program in 2012,” Biscoe said. “The reason for that is we’re working on the 2010 budget right now, and we’re getting projections for 2011 that are worse than 2010 . . . but we’re hoping to have an economic recovery by 2012.”

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