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State to pay cash bonuses to unemployed Idahoans who get back to work

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COVID-19 Idaho

Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Friday that the state will use federal stimulus dollars to pay one-time bonuses for Idahoans to return to work.

The program will pay a worker who leaves the unemployment role and takes a job. For a full-time position, the state will pay a one-time $1500 cash bonus. For folks who take a part-time job, they can get a $750 payment.

“This is a first-come, first-serve program, to have an incentive for the employees and employers to put people back to work,” Little said. “Now is the time to provide Idahoans a financial incentive to go back to work. My heart goes out to those who lost jobs or income during this global pandemic.”

The dollars, $100-million, will come from federal relief funds. Some of the dollars may come from unused funds from the rebound grant program.

‘Won’t be enough’

The governor hopes there won’t be enough money to go around.

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[Little adds self-employed Idahoans to cash grant program]

“We anticipate it won’t be enough,” he said. “We are putting this out as bait to get the economy going. Our incentive is designed for people who are thinking, ‘shall I start next week or start in two months?’ We hope it does, we want to put everyone back to work.”

Little said the Federal CARES legislation that added an extra $600 week to regular unemployment benefits gives some an incentive to stay on unemployment instead of working since they could make more staying at home.

“The level of compensation was so high, there was this big incentive for them not to go back to work. The $600 add-on ends the end of July. We’re putting this in to try and incentivize people to say ‘let’s get back to work.'”

Full details will be available by June 15th. The payments will apply to anyone who went on unemployment then returned to work since March 1st – and who applies for the payment.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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