LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) -A newly introduced bill that’s currently in committee could award eligible state workers a $2,000 bonus for their work during the pandemic.

If passed, what could that mean for the Capital City as well as the employees returning to work in downtown Lansing?

It has been more than two years since downtown Lansing had its regular load of state workers filling office buildings and businesses. As the city continues to recover from the blow of the pandemic, money like this could be a benefit for employees heading back to the office.

“I mean obviously that’s great. No one wants to say no to that,” said Meghan Lidgard.

Lidgard works for the State of Michigan and said the proposed bonus is exciting news. The bill’s introduction also comes at a time when some state offices have started to call back employees to work in person. Lidgard said downtown Lansing looks a lot different now compared to before the pandemic.

“Going to the restaurants around here would take forever to get service and now when you walk in, there are a few people waiting in line. It’s really weird, it’s like a ghost town,” said Lidgard.

Legislation introduced Tuesday by State Representative Kara Hope from Holt aims to provide state workers who were hired before March 10, 2020 with a one-time $2,000 bonus by September 2023.

Lidgard said it provides a nice incentive to come back to the office.

“Maybe it will encourage them to start working downtown more and then you know, we could actually get back to work and get more stuff done and it’s really nice to be in the office because then we can connect with people a lot easier,” said Lidgard.

Cathleen Edgerly with Downtown Lansing Inc said local businesses are seeing an increase in sales and foot traffic since state hybrid work started earlier this month. Looking ahead, she said the neighborhood is hoping to appeal to a wider audience.

“While part of downtown’s narrative, and of course part of our clientele, will include a daytime workforce, we are shifting our focus on how everyone interacts with the downtown community. How can we build a strong and sustainable future for downtown Lansing?” Edgerly said.

The bill has also seen support in the form of a House Resolution from Representative Brenda Carter of Pontiac, urging fellow lawmakers to pass the legislation. The next stop for the bill is the Appropriations Committee.