CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Nevada Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo proposed a wage increase for state employees during his first State of the State address on Monday.

Lombardo proposed an 8% increase for all state workers next fiscal year with a 4% increase the year after. The governor also proposed a $2,000 annual bonus for executive branch employees.

It was unclear Tuesday how many state employees would be eligible should the proposal become law.

“The sole purpose of state government is to serve the people of Nevada,” Lombardo said. “But, this can’t be done effectively when we have a state job vacancy rate above 20 percent, a remote and disconnected workforce, and outdated computer systems.”

In his first week of office, the governor issued an executive order calling for all employees to return to their pre-pandemic offices by July.

“The increases included in my budget, are a major first step in a sustainable pathway to increasing state employee pay to where it deserves to be,” Lombardo said. “State employees also deserve a safe and pleasant working environment. Of the last three major state office buildings constructed, one has been torn down, the other is getting the roof replaced, and the Grant Sawyer Building needs major rehabilitation.”

The 8 News Now Investigators have reported on the staffing crisis, including at Nevada State Police Highway Patrol where many trooper positions are vacant.

The governor also called for a two-grade increase “for all public safety employees above what is recommended for all public employees to help bring them closer to parity with local agencies, and to ensure we are no longer the training ground for local government police forces.”

Former Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak proposed similar pay increases during his budget proposal last year.

It was unclear Monday how the state employee pension program would be affected.

The Legislature must approve the budget. Democrats hold a supermajority in the Nevada Assembly and are the majority party in the Nevada Senate.