- Oregon lawmakers are considering passing a bill to provide more relief payments
- It is not clear whether the bill would be approved before the end of the legislative session
- 4 in 10 Americans still say their incomes are below pre-pandemic levels: Survey
A new bill in Oregon, which has bipartisan support, could give thousands of workers up to $2,000 relief payments by fall as part of a back-to-work incentive program.
Oregon lawmakers are considering passing House Bill 3409, which would provide between $1,000 to $2,000 to people for going back to work or continuing to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the proposed legislation, approved employees who continued to work throughout the pandemic could receive up to $2,000, depending on their income. As the state reopens, lawmakers have proposed to give incentives to encourage people to go back to work.
“This is an opportunity to just recognize that crossroads that we’re at. And how we help encourage people who are making those decisions to go back to work,” Melissa Unger, the Executive Director for SEIU Local 503, said.
“There’s thousands and thousands of workers who every day went to work masked up and kept our communities safe. And it’s time that Oregon as a state recognizes that work,” she added.
The bill, which was introduced Monday, is signed by Medford State Representative Kim Wallan. But she said that she doesn’t know if the legislation could be passed before the end of the session.
“We’ll see if it goes anywhere, but hopefully with a lot of people on it it will,” said Wallan, adding: “It comes down to whether more of our republican colleagues sign on.”
The House Bill 3409 comes as lawmakers continue a push for monthly stimulus checks that would provide recipients relief payments until the end of the pandemic.
A survey conducted by financial services firm TransUnion found that despite the three rounds of financial assistance, 4 in 10 Americans still say their incomes are below pre-pandemic levels. The unemployment rate is also at 6.1% compared to the 3.5% reported before the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 25% of Americans are also struggling to pay their household expenses, according to an analysis conducted in early May by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
More than 2.3 million have also signed a petition on Change.org calling for $2,000 recurring monthly checks.