Gov. Brad Little announced a plan Friday to provide back-to-work cash bonuses for unemployed Idahoans returning to their jobs.

Little has proposed using $100 million worth of federal relief funds to provide bonuses to Idahoans who were eligible for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Under the governor’s plan, full-time workers are eligible for $1,500 bonuses and part-time workers are eligible for $750 bonuses, Little told reporters in a press conference.

More than 60 percent of Americans who found themselves out of work due to the coronavirus pandemic are able to earn more with state and federal unemployment benefits than they would with their normal wages, the governor’s office said in a statement.

“A strong economic rebound cannot occur without workers returning to a job, and the new Return to Work cash bonuses incentivize our workforce to get back to work safely,” Little said.

The executive committee of the Idaho Workforce Development Council will discuss the plan next week, according to the governor’s office. Little will work with the council and his Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee to finalize the plan and eligibility requirements.

Further details about the bonus program and how to apply should be available at rebound.idaho.gov by June 15, the governor’s office said.

The bonuses will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Email the writer: gkauffman@mtexpress.com

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