TOPEKA (KSNT) – $1.3B in federal Covid-19 pandemic aid will be dispersed and the governor’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) executive committee today began considering the requests for disbursing that federal recovery money.

The group indicated the disbursement of a $50M windfall will be devoted to paying for hospital front-line health care workers who will be handling Covid-19 cases.

The aid to healthcare workers based on inoculations or hospital policy requiring inoculations failed in the committee.

The committee does not want to grant or deny requests for funds based on requirements mandated by the individual healthcare institution.

A new proposal for distribution of that money aimed at cutting loss of employees.

The federal funding aimed at maintaining those hospital workers likely will result in higher wages or bonuses of up to $5,000 to keep those healthcare workers on their jobs – and possibly ending early retirements many have taken since the pandemic.

The SPARK panel, now led by legislative members, has agreed to hire its own executive director.

The executive committee also tentatively planned to distribute up to $500 million in federal funds by Dec. 31, $834 million by July 31, 2022, and the remainder of money left from the federal disbursements by Dec. 31, 2022.

Watch the full SPARK Committee Meeting below: