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Island County government employees to get hazard pay from federal relief

A bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress as they announce a proposal for a Covid-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill on Dec. 01, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Some are questioning why certain Island County government employees are getting hazard pay from federal relief dollars, and some critics argue that pay should be going to local businesses instead.

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But Island County Commissioner Melanie Bacon says local businesses have already received a considerable amount of federal relief.

“We had something like $4 million in CARES dollars. We used all of that directly to businesses and citizens,” Bacon said.

She also says hazard pay for government workers is one of the allowed uses of the relief money.

“To provide premium pay to eligible, local government workers facing increased risk due to COVID,” Bacon explained.

Bacon tells KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show that employees who work with the public will be getting up to $2,800 in extra pay.

“This is for people who are coming to work, dealing with the public, facing the public every day despite how fearful they might be,” she added.

A total of $1.5 million will be paid out to those county employees, but Bacon says that does not include elected officials.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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