Minnesota DFL lawmakers campaign in Rochester for front-line worker bonuses

Published: Feb. 7, 2022 at 12:48 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Some Minnesota DFL lawmakers were in Rochester Tuesday to campaign for front-line worker bonuses.

Minnesota has a $7.7 billion dollar budget surplus, and some members of the DFL said giving front line workers a one-time bonus payment of $1500 needs to be first on the agenda in the 2022 legislative session. They made their case this morning at Kid’s Choice Childcare Center in Northeast Rochester.

More than 660,000 Minnesotans would qualify. Some in the Republican-controlled senate aren’t entirely on board, the sides can’t agree on which kinds of workers should get the money. Last year, the Republicans stated they wanted to give the money to more people in healthcare focused jobs.

“Before we talk about tax cuts for large corporations, before we do any other work, we must finish this job,” Senator Erin Murphy (DFL-St. Paul) said.

The DFL plan is broader and it includes, but is not limited to, nurses, first responders, daycare workers, grocery store workers and restaurant workers. Authors of the bill said to qualify a person would need to prove that they still had to go into work everyday and work with people face-to-face.

Rep. Liz Boldon (DFL-Rochester) said she hopes Senate Republicans will agree with the bill. Despite summer meetings between a bipartisan working group tasked with finalizing an aid package for frontline workers, no final agreement could be reached by the Oct. 27 deadline.

“We had bipartisan agreement at the end of last session,” Boldon said. “This should be priority. We should get this done. I am certainly an advocate that we need to keep moving forward. Certainly in the house, I expect that we will be taking it up soon, and we will get it passed. And the senate needs to do the same.”

The total of the package is $1 billion.

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