ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — After months of debate at the Minnesota State Capitol, lawmakers have finally pushed through bonus checks for frontline workers during the pandemic.

The bill has been signed, and more than 600,000 workers can soon apply to get a payout from the state for working on the front lines during the pandemic.

READ MORE: 'It’s A Great Start,': Frontline Workers React To Bonus Pay

Right now the state is aiming for about 10-12 weeks for checks to be issued. The payments are expected to be about $750 per person.

This has been a long time coming; it was initially proposed last July. Now, nearly a year later, the checks are about double what was initially proposed.

The frontline workers who will receive them include those who worked over the last two years in long-term care and home care, health care, emergency response, public health, social service, regulatory service, courts and corrections, child care, food service, retail, temporary shelters and hotels, building services, public transit, ground and air transportation services, manufacturing, and vocational rehabilitation.

Frontline workers and local businesses say this is a good first step.

“That equals a month’s rent. That equals groceries. That’s money that can be put back into their savings accounts. So it is important and I do thank you over and over again for coming together with this. But we still have work to do,” Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said.

The state is aiming to get the online application portal up and running in a few weeks. Once that happens, you’ll have 45 days to apply. Details of the program can be found here.

Pauleen Le