House approves hazard pay for essential workers

Staff Reports
Republican Sen. Fred Mills

BATON ROUGE – Legislation state lawmakers approved in the final hours of the special session will provide a small boost to some workers who remained on the job during the coronavirus pandemic.

Funds through the federal CARES ACT money will allow $250 in hazardous pay for workers who remained on the job between March 22 and May 14.

State lawmakers passed the bill with $50 million in available funding, which will allow up to 200,000 workers to receive the money.

The bill, authored by Republican Sen. Fred Mills of Parks, awaits the signature of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

He said the money was a way to repay essential workers who kept the economy rolling during the “stay at home” order.”

The money will be available to employees who earn less than $50,000 per year and worked at least 200 hours during the shelter-in-place mandate.

The funds will be doled out on a “first come, first served” basis. Application process is set to begin July 15 and end on Oct. 31, on the Louisiana Department of Revenue website.

Among those eligible for the funds are personnel in law enforcement, public safety, other first responders, supermarket employees, food manufacturers, restaurant employees, farmers and ranch hands, sanitation and pest control workers, as well as employees in the energy sector, water and wastewater, and transportation.

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