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West Virginia governor says back-to-work bonus may be $500

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) _ West Virginia would pay unemployed people a $500 sign-up bonus for returning to work under a plan expected to be finalized soon.

The bonus would be half of what Republican Gov. Jim Justice initially suggested could be offered to workers.

He said earlier in May that the bonus would be $1,000, which would require the employer to pay half and the state to cover the rest.

On Tuesday he said he didn’t want to ``put any additional pain on our small businesses.`` He said he expects the bonus, which ``may only be the $500,’' to come out of the state’s coffers.

At Tuesday’s briefing, Justice said the state is within 8% of its goal of getting residents age 12 and above at least partially vaccinated by June 20.

He plans to announce more vaccination incentives at his next briefing, now scheduled for Thursday.

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