Who’s a hero? Some states, cities still debating hazard pay

whos a hero some states cities still debating hazard pay

Sumary of Who’s a hero? Some states, cities still debating hazard pay:

  • Should it go to a small pool of essential workers like nurses or be spread around to others, including grocery store workers?
  • And hence by default, you’re saying importance versus not important,” said Jason Levesque, the Republican mayor of Auburn, Maine, where officials have not yet decided who will receive hazard pay from the city’s American Rescue Plan funds.
  • “It sounds like it’s about the money, but this is a token of appreciation,” said Ginny Ligi, a correctional officer who contracted COVID-19 last year in Connecticut, where the bonus checks have yet to cut amid negotiations with unions.
  • In Minnesota, lawmakers still have $250 million in aid set aside for hero pay, but they’ve been been struggling with how to distribute it.
  • “I think every time we take another week, we’re just delaying the whole process and I think the fastest way is to get them over to the Legislature,” said Republican state Sen.
  • Minnesota Senate Republicans want to offer a tax-free bonus of $1,200 to about 200,000 workers who they say took on the greatest risk, such as nurses, long-term care workers, prison staff and first responders.
  • But House Democrats want to spread the money more widely, providing roughly $375 to about 670,000 essential workers, including low-wage food service and grocery store employees, security guards, janitors and others.
  • Earlier this week, after it appeared that a political impasse was easing over another issue, Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman told Minnesota Public Radio that she believed an agreement can be reached on front-line worker pay, noting there’s a “pretty natural middle ground” between the dueling proposals.

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