BOSTON (CBS) — A proposed $1,200 “Get Back To Work Bonus” in Massachusetts was rejected by Senate Democrats in the Legislature this week. The State House News Service reported that it was one of hundreds of failed budget amendments.
The “Time For The Commonwealth To Get Back To Work Bonus” was rejected by a voice vote without debate, the News Service reported.READ MORE: 'I Felt Numb': Mother Outraged Over Dracut High School Yearbook Message Of Support For Son's Accused Killer
The idea was championed by state Sen. Ryan Fattman, a Sutton Republican, as a way to encourage people to get a job instead of continuing to collect unemployment benefits. The proposal would have used funds from the American Rescue Plan to pay people $400 for securing a job, another $400 after six months of employment and a final $400 after a full year of continuous employment.
Several other states including Connecticut and New Hampshire have announced plans for similar moves.READ MORE: 58 At Massachusetts Schools Test Positive For COVID-19 In Last Week
“We want not only to incentivize people to work, but we want to keep them employed,” Fattman told WBZ-TV. “We have one system that says we’re going to pay you $1,100 a week to stay home and be unemployed. I think a better alternative is saying we’re going to give you a bonus to get back to work.”
House Speaker Ronald Mariano has said American Rescue Plan spending proposals could emerge next month, separate from the annual budget, according to the News Service.
Massachusetts, which has a 6.5% unemployment rate that’s slightly above the national average, is bringing back the work search requirement for unemployment claims once the state of emergency expires June 15. Anyone seeking unemployment benefits in Massachusetts will have to show they are actively searching for a job.MORE NEWS: Coronavirus In Massachusetts: Today's Developments
Employers have had a tough time finding help as the state prepares to fully reopen on May 29.