Saint Paul, Minn. — Frontline Worker Pay Working Group Chair Rep. Ryan Winkler and working group members Rep. Cedrick Frazier and Sen. Erin Murphy issued the following statements today.
“Workers and families who have been making sacrifices have waited far too long for this working group to reach consensus. These individuals are our neighbors and vital members of our communities, and they deserve better.
“The DFL members provided a proposal prior to our Labor Day deadline. Our GOP colleagues have continued to express an unwillingness to include thousands of our Frontline workers. Furthermore, they have continued to attach the recognition of our Frontline workers to unwarranted attacks on our Commissioner of Health. This most recent public announcement by the GOP is nothing more than political posturing. It does nothing to honor our frontline workers. In fact, it seeks to diminish the sacrifices of those workers by threatening to remove a leader that has worked tirelessly to keep Minnesotans safe during this public health crisis. Moreover, the Republican proposal insults and discounts the sacrifices of the other frontline workers they leave out.
“We urge our GOP colleagues to put the well being of Minnesotans above politics. Let’s not waste more time. Our Frontline workers deserve more, now!”
“The pandemic is not over. Frontline workers not only carried us through these last 18 months, but they continue to do their jobs while still at risk. Our hospitals are filling with COVID cases, as rates of new cases in Minnesota have reached another peak. Since the start of school this fall, we are seeing our kids get sick and, tragically, two educators have died.
“In good faith, DFL workgroup members made a proposal before the Labor Day deadline. It is useful to finally see a counter proposal from our GOP colleagues.
“It is past time to finish this work for those who went to work, kept us healthy, alive, and our economy moving. Let’s complete our work, clear the deck of extraneous politics, and get this money out to Minnesota’s workers.”
Majority Leader Winkler:
“It’s time for working group members to finish the job we were appointed to do. Essential workers across many different sectors have sacrificed far too much to be left behind. We’ve listened to the stories of workers and their families, we’ve taken a deep dive into state employment data, and we know that a broad collection of workers deserve help, and that’s what our original proposal delivers. It’s time to get this done.”