AUGUSTA, GA ( WJBF) — AU employees could soon see a $5,000 pay increase.

During his State of the State address Gov. Brian Kemp recommended a five thousand dollar pay increase for teachers and all full-time state employees.

He also recommended a permanent pay increase starting in fiscal year 2023.

Augusta University President Dr. Brooks Keel said that increase would apply to AU employees if it’s approved in the state budget.

“So, we’re optimistic, we’re enthusiastic and we’re very grateful to the governor for this. So, stay tuned we’ll provide you with all the information as it becomes available,” Keel said.

Gov. Kemp also recommended an increase in the university system budget to eliminate the special institution fee.

Keel said that would mean students would pay less to attend AU.

“It will allow us to reduce the overall cost of higher education to our students.”  

The pay increase as well as the increase in the university system budget are both recommendations that would still need to pass both the state House and Senate before going into effect.

 If the pay increase recommendation is approved, it would take effect as soon as Gov. Kemp signs it into law rather than at the beginning of fiscal year 2023 in July.