AFFTON, Mo. – The plight of an 80-year-old worker from Affton may lead to new state legislation.

The State of Missouri is trying to recover $5,000 in pandemic funds from Lucy Sanchez, who still works as a waitress. A state lawmaker said she introduced new legislation that would exempt Sanchez and others from repaying thousands of unemployment pandemic funds the state says were overpaid.

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State Representative LaKeySha Bosley said it is unfair to punish residents who turned to their government for help during a crisis. Bosley said many families still have not fully recovered. The state even sent messages to many of them, noting that the overpayment was not their fault. Missouri has moved to garnish wages and put liens on homes to recover the money.

Lawmakers had previously tried to pass a law giving residents a pass on paying back the money, but it failed.

FOX 2 reported on Sanchez’s plight with others from St. Charles County to St. Louis City to Jefferson County.