National Guard helps with coronavirus; lowest pay at $1.67 an hour

By John Frank and Jesse Paul

THE COLORADO SUN

The minimum pay for the 50 Colorado National Guard members called to duty by Gov. Jared Polis in response to the new coronavirus outbreak is just $1.67 an hour.

The latest from the coronavirus outbreak in Colorado:

Colorado lawmakers gave final approval to legislation in early March to boost the paltry salary days before the state’s emergency declaration and the guard’s activation to address the pandemic prompted by COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

“At the time we passed this bill, there was no emergency,” said Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, the sponsor of the bill, which received unanimous support. “But now it’s all too real what our National Guard members face — it could be fire, it could be a flood, it could be a virus.”

But it won’t help the current National Guard members addressing COVID-19. The Democratic governor has not signed the bill and it won’t take effect until 90 days after the legislature adjourns — which is tentatively early August but could come much later because of the outbreak.

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