The Minnesota Senate passed legislation delivering $750 payments to 667,000 frontline workers and replenishing the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Friday, in a bipartisan vote of 65-1. The $3.3 billion package is a win for the Minnesotans who stepped up and did the right thing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will help the state continue its recovery, said Senator Aric Putnam (DFL-St. Cloud).
“After many months of advocating for both these priorities, I’m proud to support this important legislation that will help all of those who did the right thing for Minnesota, who stepped up to go into work when the rest of us stayed home, and for those businesses who we asked to stay closed to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Senator Putnam. “This legislation recognizes that it was never about doing one thing at the expense of the other, but instead about making sure both workers and our businesses got the support they needed.”
The legislation spends $2.7 billion to replenish the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and doubles the funding for eligible frontline workers to $500 million. Additionally, the legislation unlocks $190 million to allow flexible responses to further challenges that may arise from COVID-19 in the future.
While negotiations had been ongoing for several months between legislative leaders and Governor Walz, Senator Putnam served on the conference committee that negotiated the compromise between the House and Senate, which finalized the deal late Thursday evening.
“Fulfilling our promise to workers and businesses has been one of my top priorities this year, and I’m thankful that we’re finally completing this work,” said Senator Putnam. “Now, I hope we can continue to rise above our differences and put the needs of Minnesotans first in these last three weeks of session.”