Legislative leaders agree to deal with unemployment insurance, bonuses for frontline workers

The top executives of the Minnesota Legislature, who performed at the MinnPost Festival on Thursday, confirmed an agreement to address two issues that have been out of reach for nearly three months.

House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller said they had accepted Governor Tim Walz’s request to spend $ 2.7 billion on strengthening the state unemployment insurance system and sending $ 500 million to frontline workers as thank-you bonuses.

The same deal puts $ 190 million in Walz’s COVID response account to cover new needs related to the pandemic.

“We have been working long and hard on it, and we are happy to reach an agreement for the people of Minnesota,” said Miller, R-Winona.

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“Democrats are just as obligated, if not more, to meet the April 30 deadline,” Hortman said.

This date is when employers must file unemployment benefits in the first quarter, estimates reflecting increases to repay $ 1.4 billion to the federal government that was used to pay unemployment during the recession. An additional $ 1.3 billion will go to replenish the state’s UI trust fund.

The $ 500 million for Hero checks is double what was agreed last year. It would go to up to 670,000 front-line employees and could total $ 750.

Discussion of the agreement starts at 10:30 in the video:

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