FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021
Gov. Whitmer Supports ‘Hero Pay’ for Frontline & Essential Workers
LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced her support for “Hero Pay” for frontline and essential workers in Michigan. With billions in federal relief funding available, the “Hero Pay” proposal, which was put forward by Sen. Marshall Bullock (D-Detroit) and Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D-Flint), would provide one-time payments to essential employees for serving admirably through the pandemic as they kept the state and their fellow Michiganders moving.
“Today, we honor the untold sacrifices made by essential workers who stepped up for their families, communities, and the state of Michigan by paying them what they deserve,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The hundreds of thousands of folks who worked through the pandemic to keep the rest of us going embody what being a Michigander is all about: you care for your neighbors, you work hard, you get it done no matter the odds. We must ensure they have the support they need to thrive as we emerge from the pandemic together. I will fight alongside my colleagues in the Michigan House and Senate to ensure that frontline and essential workers get the hero pay they deserve as we continue our economic jumpstart, and I look forward to signing a piece of legislation that makes effective use of the federal stimulus dollars we have to invest in working families and communities. We cannot waste the opportunity we have to deliver meaningful change that makes a real difference in people’s lives, especially those who worked courageously through the pandemic ensuring the rest of us could live our lives as normally as possible.”
Currently, more than half of all occupations in the U.S. with a median wage below $15 per hour are considered essential. While some companies have stepped in to provide hero pay to frontline employees, many have not.
The resolutions put forward by the House and Senate Democrats build on previous actions Michigan took in using federal dollars to disburse hero pay to a group of frontline essential workers in public-sector-funded industries, including a one-time $1,000 for first responders and a $2-per-hour for direct-care workers who provided Medicaid-funded care.