One Million Minnesotans Who Helped Get State Through Most Difficult Part of Pandemic
Senators Say Long-Overdue Payments are Far Less Than They Pushed For,
After Senate Republican Majority Repeatedly Blocked Efforts to Enact Bonuses
St. Paul, MN– Senate DFL Leaders reiterated today that the $500 million in frontline worker bonuses going out starting this week are long overdue and will help more than 1 million Minnesotans whose sacrifices were crucial to getting Minnesota through more than two years of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will help workers across the state -including workers in health care or long-term care facilities, childcare workers, grocery store staff, and retail employees- some of whom are still dealing with the health and economic fallout that hit them hard during the pandemic.
Senate Minority Leader Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina), AssistantLeadersMary Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton), Foung Hawj (DFL-St. Paul), and Nick Frentz (DFL-North Mankato) as well as Sen. Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul), the chief author of Senate legislation on the bonuses, are thrilled that the funds going out starting Wednesday will send $487 payments to more than 1 million Minnesotans. The DFL Senators said they had repeatedly pressed legislation to send $1 billion to the state’s frontline workers during this year’s legislative session, only to have it blocked each time on the Senate floor by the Republican majority who wanted to limit the bonuses and the workers who receive them.
After the legislature gave final approval to the $500 million for frontline workers in April, it was signed into law by Governor Walz. Many workers will see their bonuses within the next seven to 10 days, the Senators said
The Senators released the following statement Monday:
“This is a good day for all Minnesotans who understand that we owe our state’s frontline workers our thanks for all they did during the darkest days of the pandemic. They had to go to work without the option of staying home, and they got Minnesotans through a very tough time. Without their sacrifices, the health and economic crisis caused by the pandemic would have been much worse. These bonus checks -while not as large as we would have supported – recognize those sacrifices and will help many of them in a significant way. While we’ve taken this step to help our frontline workers, DFLers also know that our work to help Minnesota working families will never be done, and we will continue that important work into the future.”