The Minnesota Senate nearly unanimously has approved the deal struck by legislative leaders to re-fill the COVID-depleted Unemployment Insurance Fund — avoiding tax increases on businesses — plus send roughly 750-dollar COVID “hero checks” to 667-thousand front-line workers in Minnesota. Saint Paul Democrat Sandy Pappas voted “yes” but says, “Providing 2.7 billion dollars to the businesses in the state and only 500 million to the workers means that there really isn’t the kind of proper balance that there should be.” Pine City Republican Jason Rarick responds, “Employers continued to pay into that account throughout the entire pandemic. That’s why we didn’t have to borrow more from the federal government than we did.”
Republicans say keeping the Unemployment Insurance Fund strong will benefit workers. The bill now goes to the House, which will likely pass it, and then to Governor Tim Walz, who will likely sign it.