SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Monday, the Minnesota House approved legislation to fully replenish the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and deliver $1,500 bonus checks for more than 600,000 frontline workers, including health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and many more. Additionally, the bill makes hourly school employees like paraprofessionals, classroom assistants, bus drivers and others eligible for unemployment benefits in the summer.
Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester) issued the following statement:
“The state budget surplus gives us the opportunity to give businesses a break by fully replenishing the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund while also recognizing the sacrifice of Minnesota’s frontline workers who kept going during the worst parts of the pandemic at great risk to their own health. We also extend eligibility for unemployment benefits to hourly school employees who are so critical to the development, wellbeing, and success of our students. This will help retain this important workforce and give some economic security to workers who are often at the bottom of the income scale. It’s now time for Senate Republicans to join House DFLers to get this package of solutions to the governor’s desk.”
Rep. Liz Boldon (DFL – Rochester) issued the following statement:
“I have seen firsthand how critical our frontline workers have been in our ongoing fight against the pandemic. They deserve more than words of gratitude, and with our historic budget surplus we have the ability to recognize them as they deserve. At the same time, in order to maintain our strong economic recovery we have to ensure we don’t overburden our local small businesses, which is why I voted to restore our UI Trust Fund. I’m also very proud of the provision in this bill to extend unemployment benefits to hourly school employees; this is an important equity and fairness issue. We can and must support both workers and businesses and the bill we passed does just that.”