Government to draw winners of cash bonuses, state prizes, and vouchers
Some Illinois frontline state employees can win prizes in a raffle provided by the government.
The state is providing incentives to some lucky state employees who work in direct care facilities and receive at least one dose of the vaccine.
"Our state employees have worked tirelessly on the frontlines throughout the pandemic and I'm thrilled to announce this new opportunity to encourage them to get vaccinated," said Governor JB Pritzker. "By further increasing state employee vaccination rates, we're not just protecting our staff, we're protecting our vulnerable residents in state facilities and our surrounding communities. Getting vaccinated is truly how we protect ourselves from new variants and put this pandemic behind us."
Late in June, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA), the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice (IDJJ) and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) announced to eligible employees.
Winners will be announced on July 19.
The prizes include:
- Cash bonuses: ranging from $5,000 to $10,000
- State prizes: a choice among lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum passes or memberships, and State Fair admissions and concert passes
- Airline vouchers: first-class tickets to any domestic U.S. destination or coach tickets to any international destination on American Airlines
- Sports tickets: home game tickets to cheer on the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, Chicago Fire FC and St. Louis Cardinals
"We're happy to assist Governor Pritzker's efforts in encouraging state employees who work at direct care facilities to be vaccinated," said Ted Phillips, Chicago Bears president and CEO. "Public and private entities working together allows us to continue the progress we've made against the virus and its impact on our communities."
Previously, San Francisco started requiring all its 35,000 municipal workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 when a vaccine receives federal approval.
Illinois employees who have taken at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by July 12, 2021 will be eligible to win prizes.
Prizes may be transferable, at the discretion of the awarding agency, and cash awards will be considered taxable income. Those who can attest they would take the vaccine, but have a documented medical or religious exemption, may also be entered into the drawing.
"Increasing levels of vaccination rates is the only way that we can win the battle against COVID-19 and return to a sense of normalcy, said Grace B. Hou, IDHS secretary. "We want to make sure that every one of our health care workers who wants a vaccine can get one, and I hope that this latest effort inspires an even greater level of participation from our heroic staff."
In Mount Holly, New Jersey, Oaks Integrated Care Inc. is being charged $27,306 after two of its employees died from exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Last month, Pritzker introduced a new $10 million ‘All In for the Win' promotion that rewards all vaccinated Illinoisans by automatically entering them into a series of cash and scholarship lotteries with prizes — up to $1 million. In May, Gov. Pritzker announced 50,000 Six Flags tickets - valued at $4 million - and targets at the World Shooting Complex as free incentives for residents to get the shot.