We are happy to follow up on on our blog from July 19, 2022 and share the news that more than one million frontline-worker Minnesotans will begin to receive payments this week. As the Minnesota Reformer reports, Minnesota frontline workers will begin to receive $487.45 checks this week. This comes after Governor Walk and the Minnesota Legislature reached a $500 million agreement in the last legislative session.
While this is surely good news for the frontline workers who applied for this program, the final check falls short of the $750 originally estimated. It also puts into perspective just how many Minnesotans put themselves at risk during the Covid-19 lockdown. Governor Walz announced that 1,025,655 Minnesota frontline workers will receive checks. This is a staggering number considering that Minnesota’s total population is 5.6 million. Another way to think about this is nearly 20% or 1-in-5 Minnesotans were frontline workers during the lockdown.
Yet again, this puts into perspective the stark inequalities the Covid-19 pandemic brought to light. This data puts a real world number on the amount of Minnesotans who were risking their health to keep our food supply chains and grocery stores running, while many Minnesotans were able to safely work from home. These workplace inequalities between low-income and higher-income Minnesotans persist even as the government response winds down. And while monetary compensation like this is surely a good start, it’s hard to quantify the sacrifice of our frontline workers over the last few years.