Lawmakers from New England said a $600 hazard payment to front-line health care workers, first responders and other employees who face specific risk from the coronavirus must be included in the next round of congressional relief.

“One of the ideas that I suggested was to take the existing unemployment system where we would provide another $600 benefit [from federal funds for hazard payments],” Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline said on a Zoom call with Reps. Katherine Clark and Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Annie Kuster of New Hampshire.

“There are other proposals for direct [hazard pay] payments to front-line employees,” that lawmakers will consider, Cicilline added.

Clark, who last week joined a letter from lawmakers to House leaders calling for hazard pay, child care funding and other measures to be included in the bill, said lawmakers are looking for “comprehensive” relief for front-line workers.

“We are taking a holistic approach, and hazard pay is certainly part of it,” said Clark, who vice chairs the House Democratic Caucus. “But we have to make sure that every single worker in this country is safe when they go to work.”


Original story here.