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At the Capitol: Minnesota Lawmakers Working Overtime on Hero Pay Bonus Package

Thursday, Sept. 2 marked the final working group meeting for Hero Pay. Since July, lawmakers have been meeting to finalize how the $250 million allocated to reward frontline workers will be distributed. In their final meeting, co-chairs Senator Housley and Majority Leader Winkler indicated that progress is being made. However, they have yet to reach a consensus and will continue the conversation beyond their self-imposed deadline of Sept. 7.

Where things are
The frontline working group on Hero Pay bonuses has officially reached its deadline without a consensus proposal. While the working group is committed to providing the legislature with a proposal agreed upon by all members, differences presently exist around the criteria for receiving a bonus. Democrat members would like a broader group of frontline workers to be included despite receiving a smaller bonus. Republicans are proposing that frontline healthcare workers receive bonus prioritization above other frontline workers. LeadingAge Minnesota and our Long-Term Care Imperative partners are advocating for a $1500 bonus for long-term care workers. Given that long-term care is the only sector spelled out in the initial legislation creating the bonus fund, we are strongly pushing lawmakers to ensure they receive a meaningful bonus.

Where things are going
The working group leadership has publicly committed to issuing a consensus proposal for the legislature to approve. While the initial commitment was to present these in Sept., we understand that the legislature will be called back into a special session in October to consider the recommendations. In the coming weeks, we will be developing more grassroots opportunities to advocate and make your voices heard to ensure long-term care workers receive a bonus that matches sacrifice and service.

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