Saint Paul, Minn. — House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler and State Representative Cedrick Frazier issued the following statements today in response to a letter Senate Republican Leader Jeremy Miller sent to Governor Walz.
Majority Leader Winkler:
“Senate Republicans’ letter to Governor Walz is amateur party politics, whose only purpose is to make anti-vaccine politicians feel loved. Commissioner Jan Malcolm is leading our pandemic response, and Senate Republicans are leading nothing. Senator Miller needs to act like a real leader and work with us to distribute the $250,000,000 in pay to all frontline workers. His party promised workers they would get the money, and it’s time for them to deliver. They need to stop playing politics with workers’ lives.”
Winkler, who chairs the Frontline Worker Pay Working Group, is scheduling a public meeting of working group members for Wednesday, October 20 at 3pm. Although no agreement has been reached, Winkler said the group needs to figure out a way to help all frontline workers.
“Minnesota’s frontline workers have been more than patient as they wait for an agreement to distribute $250 million in premium pay. Now, as the Delta variant continues to take hold, many of these same heroes are once again dealing with dangerously low capacity in hospitals and long-term care settings.
“Regarding COVID-19, our focus must be squarely on getting premium pay in the pockets of the workers who deserve it and ensuring our state is best equipped to tackle our health care system’s increasing challenges. Instead, Senate Republicans are actively working to undermine our state’s vaccination strategy, relitigate the governor’s emergency authority, and hold administration officials’ jobs hostage. None of these will help us put COVID behind us or contribute to the economic security of workers or their families.
“We’ve asked a lot of our front-line heroes, and for the time being, we will continue to ask for more of them. It’s time for Republicans to step up and join us to complete the important work Minnesotans expect us to get done.”