By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Minnesotans are still waiting for the bonus pay they were promised.

The state set aside $250 million to pay people for doing essential work during the pandemic, but after more than a dozen meetings, lawmakers still can’t agree on who should get that money.

Republican members of the Frontline Pay Working Group say their focus is getting money to those who put themselves at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19. Meanwhile, DFL members want to expand coverage to include more people, including those who worked at grocery stores and day care centers.

“On a regular basis, my team was the last line of defense to ensure others were able to make it to work,” Krissy Dvorak, the director of an Eagan child care center, said at a Wednesday press conference. “It is insulting and shameful that Republican legislators sitting on the Frontline Pay Working Group have chosen to exclude a vast number of frontline workers like me.”

State Sen. Karin Housley (R-Stillwater) said that every week that goes by without an agreement will be another week where checks won’t get to frontline workers.

“We have the two proposals now, get those to Gov. Walz and have him call a special session,” she said Wednesday.

DFL leaders say a special session is not necessary to reach an agreement on frontline worker pay. Recently, Republican senators spoken about possibly firing Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm if a special session is called.