It’s a Big Deal

Yesterday, legislative leaders announced they had a deal on the replenishment of the unemployment insurance trust fund and frontline worker bonus pay. The deal was approved by a conference committee late Thursday night, and is expected to be passed by both the Senate and House of Representatives on Friday. Governor Tim Walz is expected to sign the bill shortly after receiving it.

It’s All in the Details – Unemployment Insurance

More than $2.3 billion of federal funds, along with more than $405 million in state funds, will be used to repay the federal unemployment insurance trust fund loans and replenish the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund. The use of these funds will allow businesses to avoid an increase in their assessments related to unemployment insurance. Businesses will be expected to pay their previously assessed bills due April 30, but will receive a credit or refund in the future.

It’s All in the Details – Frontline Workers

Fifteen frontline worker employment sectors are identified in the bill as being eligible for bonus payments. In addition to being in one of the identified sectors, workers must meet other eligibility requirements, including an income cap. Workers will have to apply to receive a bonus, and the amount that they receive will depend on how many workers apply. The Legislature allocated $500 million for bonuses, with an anticipated payout of approximately $750 per worker. The eligible sectors are: long-term care and home care; health care; emergency responders; public health, social service, and regulatory service; courts and corrections; child care; schools; food service; retail; temporary shelters and hotels; building services; public transit; ground and air transportation services; manufacturing; and vocational rehabilitation.

Full-time Legislature

This week a bill was introduced that would allow voters to decide if Minnesota’s part-time legislature should be a full-time operation. The bill’s authors said that they had no expectation of any action on the bill yet this year, but wanted to begin a discussion on the issue.

What’s Up Next

The House and Senate have each passed most of their respective omnibus bills at this point. Next week will see passage of the remainder of the finance bills and the beginning of conference committees. The tax and bonding bills will be a double caboose for the end of session.

April 29, 2022