Officials Say Minnesota Front Line Workers Will Get Bonus Checks This Summer
After nine months of debates and back and forth it looks like this will actually happen to compensate front-line workers in Minnesota who remained on the job during the pandemic. Governor Tim Walz signed a 3.4 billion dollar package last Friday and out of that $500 Million will be allocated for the worker bonuses. $2.7 will be used to refill the state's unemployment benefits fund and reverse a business payroll tax increase.
So how does a front-line worker apply for the bonus? "To claim a bonus, a worker would need to: have worked at least 120 hours in an eligible industry between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021; not have been eligible for telework; and not have collected unemployment benefits for more than 20 weeks during that period. Income is capped at $175,000 for people who worked with COVID-19 patients and $85,000 for all others."
Officials are guessing that around 667,000 people from 15 eligible industries will apply for the bonus. The checks should be around $750 but this depends on how many people apply so it could be larger or it could be less. Here is the website for people to check on updates. Once the system is ready to take applications you will have 45 days to apply.
Mary Turner is head of the Minnesota Nurses Association and she said to FOX9 :
Today, I keep pinching myself that we actually did it. The check for $750, it may not seem like a lot, but I’ll tell you what. That $750 to the median income of Minnesota, equals a month’s rent. That equals groceries.
So what about Minnesota residents who do not qualify as front-line workers? At a ceremony yesterday Governor Walz insisted that any final agreements must include his $500 per adult rebate checks which has not been agreed upon by both republicans and democrats in the past. He said to reporters: "I’m willing to compromise, but I’m not going to compromise out a top priority of mine." His proposal calls for direct payments of $500 to adults who make less than $164,400 a year and $1,000 per couple making less than $273,470.