Monday, October 3, 2022

MPs deal on unemployment insurance, ‘Hero Pay’

scheduled tribe. Paul, Min. ( Associated Press) – Minnesota legislators announced a deal Thursday to resolve a months-long impasse to replenish the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund and pay bonuses to frontline workers.

The tentative agreement includes $2.7 billion to replenish trust funds and return loans to the federal government for jobless aid, as well as $500 million in bonuses for workers who take risks during the pandemic. House Democrats turn down their $1 billion proposal for bonus checks – The amount per worker has been cut in half to $750 but entitlement is capped at approximately 667,000 workers.

The proposal – which will cost the remainder of Minnesota’s federal pandemic relief fund of more than $1 billion – also includes $190 million for a pandemic response account to support already ongoing efforts like the state’s testing apparatus. a house provision The cut was cut in an agreement to make hourly school workers eligible for unemployment insurance during the summer months.

“We tried to do it first,” Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller of Winona said in February, citing Senate passage of his unemployment insurance bill in a bipartisan 55-11 vote. “It took a little longer than we expected but the final deal is a good deal for the people of Minnesota and we are happy to have completed it.”

Miller of Brooklyn Park and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced the agreement during a Minpost Festival panel discussion, saying they had reached a settlement with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday night. Hortman said he was glad they were able to increase the amount for frontline workers from the $250 million set by a working group of lawmakers last year, which was never parceled out.

“It may have taken a little longer, but we got a significant win for workers in Minnesota, with frontline workers getting paid twice as much as the initial agreement,” Hortman said during the panel.

Republican Senator Carin Housley of Stillwater told reporters Thursday that it would take a few months to set up the bonus application and mail the check.

Miller and Hortman said the bill was expected to pass through the Senate floor on Thursday before being voted on by the House later on Thursday or Friday morning, the leaders said, aiming for the bill to be signed on Friday at Walz’s desk. is to receive. To avoid a Saturday due date for employers who saw their tax bills rise after lawmakers missed the March 15 deadline To replenish the trust fund.

Walz said in a statement that he was proud that the divided legislature was able to come to a bipartisan agreement seeking relief to businesses and workers. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce called the agreement a welcome but long overdue one.

“The economic recovery cannot wait for partisan politics, and employers now face real challenges, including historical inflation and labor shortages,” the group’s statement said. “We applaud the MPs who supported and took steps to fix this from the start.”

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Mohamed Ibrahim is a core member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. report for america is a non-profit national service program that hires journalists in local newsrooms to report on secret issues.

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