A proposal by Michigan lawmakers to send bonus payments to essential workers who worked during the pandemic has received the support of Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

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The proposal, introduced by Michigan lawmakers Sen. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit) and Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), would provide a one-time bonus to workers who have been on the front lines and deemed essential during the pandemic.

Whitmer made the announcement on Thursday at a gathering of healthcare workers in Detroit and says that she will fight alongside the lawmakers to get the 'hero pay' into the pockets of Michiganders as part of jumpstarting our post-pandemic economy:

The hundreds of thousands of folks who worked through the pandemic to keep the rest of us going embody what being a Michigander is all about: you care for your neighbors, you work hard, you get it done no matter the odds. We must ensure they have the support they need to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic together. I will fight alongside my colleagues in the Michigan House and Senate to ensure that frontline and essential workers get the hero pay they deserve as we continue our economic jumpstart.

The resolutions introduced by Neeley & Bullock don't currently specify a monetary amount for the bonus payments, but they did refer to other federal programs that have supplied bonuses such as a $1000 first responder bonus early in the pandemic and the $2 an hour wage increase for those who provided healthcare under Medicaid funded programs.

During the event Bullock saluted the men and women deemed essential during the pandemic:

Essential workers are heroes who faced the COVID-19 pandemic with unbelievable strength and courage. These are people, from grocery stores, hospitals, schools, mass transit, and so many other industries, who went to work every day knowing they risked bringing home a deadly virus to their own families.

Currently, more than half of all occupations in the U.S. with a median wage below $15 per hour are considered essential. While some companies have stepped in to provide hero pay to frontline employees, many have not.

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