MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A group of lawmakers is expected to present a final proposal for frontline worker pay bonuses on Thursday. The legislature set aside $250 million and is letting the group decide who gets the money and how much they get. Then everyone would vote on a bill later this month.
The frontline worker pay group is having their final meeting Thursday before a Monday deadline set by law to have recommendations in place.
The goal is that all of the legislature would come back here to the capitol some time this month and vote on it, so pandemic frontline workers can get their bonus pay as soon as possible.
Earlier this week, DFL lawmakers pitched setting up a process for workers to apply. Baseline checks would be $1,500 but would likely shrink depending on the number of applicants.READ MORE: Frontline Worker Pay Group Diverges In Bonus Proposals Days Before Deadline
Qualifying workers would include many industries beyond just health care, and those employees would need to work in person without any option to work from home.
Meanwhile, Republicans wanted to prioritize health care workers and nursing home staff who still showed up to work when there were known sick people around them.
The original plan was to come back later this month to vote on frontline worker bonuses but now that’s unclear. Gov. Tim Walz says for him to call a special session, he wants assurances first from Senate Republicans that they won’t fire Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm upon return, which they have the power to do. A couple of Republicans have scrutinized her job performance in recent days.