At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Continue Hearings on Hero Pay

In late July, a select working group began hosting hearings on allocating the money set aside during the 2021 special session for bonuses for frontline workers. Several different groups are vying for the $250 million set aside for the bonuses and this week. The working group is hosting a hearing to discuss eligibility requirements and take more public testimony.

The working group on frontline worker bonuses has met three times to generally review its goals and intended outcomes and hear specifically from workers in various sectors, emphasizing long-term care and hospital spaces. LeadingAge Minnesota and the Long-Term Care Imperative had several workers testify about their challenges navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawmakers responded positively to their testimony and affirmed the importance of long-term care workers, specifically receiving Hero Pay. LeadingAge Minnesota continues to push for at least $27 million for long-term care workers with the hope of even being able to secure more money before a final decision is made. The working group on frontline worker bonuses met again on Aug. 17 to discuss criteria for eligibility. During the hearing, working group members reviewed a similar bonus model adopted by the State of Louisiana.

On Aug. 19, working group members will meet to hear a Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry presentation and take public testimony.

Lawmakers must include LTC workers in their proposal, but the pool of essential workers is large. If the working group doesn’t prioritize the long-term care sector, caregivers may walk away with an insignificant bonus that doesn’t appropriately reflect their hard work throughout the pandemic. While the hearings are remote, LeadingAge Minnesota continues to advocate for a meaningful bonus for long-term care workers as we near the September special session. You can add your voice to the conversation by signing a petition to the working group members.

While the hearings are not in-person this week, we want to emphasize to the working group how critical it is for frontline workers to receive a meaningful Hero Pay bonus. You can add your voice to the conversation by signing a petition to the working group members. Make your voice heard by signing on and join providers asking lawmakers to prioritize the hard work and sacrifice long-term care workers have made for Minnesota’s seniors.

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