Hundreds of thousands of Minnesota first responders, medical workers, meatpackers, and grocery clerks are eligible for a $750 bonus for staying on the job during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to state officials, Gov. Tim Walz signed a bill on Friday allocating $500 million to cover one-time payments for an estimated 667,000 frontline workers, who will receive checks in 10 to 12 weeks. It also includes $2.7 billion to replenish the unemployment trust fund in Minnesota.
The additional “hero pay” checks were first proposed in Minnesota last July, sparking months of debate.
“This is one month’s rent. That equates to food. This is money that they can put into their savings accounts. So it’s critical, and I want to thank you all again for coming together on this, “According to CBS Minnesota, Mary Turner, president of the Minnesota Nurses Association, said.
Stepped out of my son’s volleyball game to sign this important bill the minute we got it passed.
– $500 million in direct payments to frontline workers.
– $2.7 billion in tax relief for small businesses.
Signed. Couldn’t ask for a better Friday night. pic.twitter.com/uiOMRRYN3k
— Governor Tim Walz (@GovTimWalz) April 30, 2022
According to the state’s website, employees must have worked 120 hours between March 15, 2020, and June 30, 2021, and have not received unemployment benefits for more than 20 weeks to be eligible for the payments. Individuals earning more than $85,000 per year who did not work directly with COVID-19 patients are ineligible. Those who worked with COVID-19 patients and earned less than $175,000 per year are eligible for a payout.
Across the United States, Several companies offered extra “hazard pay” to workers during the pandemic. Still, some grocery stores were offended when several cities on the West Coast made it mandatory for supermarket employees.
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According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, COVID-19 has killed nearly one million Americans.