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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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RELEASE: Heintzeman Statement on Passage of Unemployment Insurance Fix

Friday, April 29, 2022

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House on Friday approved on a 124-5 vote, legislation to repay Minnesota’s unemployment insurance trust fund deficit and tax hikes that employers in the state are suffering despite a $9.3 billion surplus. The deficit was created during the COVID-19 pandemic when historic numbers of Minnesotans were forced to apply for unemployment insurance when businesses were forced closed by Gov. Walz.

“Last year, Democrats taxed federal Payment Protection Program loans, hurting job providers and workers across Minnesota that were doing everything they could to keep their doors open and our neighbors employed,” said Rep. Heintzeman. “This year, Democrat inaction once again harmed job providers in Minnesota. While I am glad that we were able to get this done, delays from House Democrats led to higher taxes and uncertainty for both employers and workers that are already struggling with inflation and supply chain issues.”

Senate Republicans approved a clean bill to address the issue in February, but House Democrats delayed action until late April, when they added more than $1 billion in other funding to the bill. This change complicated matters and delayed final approval, costing state taxpayers $50,000 in interest for every day the legislature didn’t act.

The final package includes $2.7 billion to fully repay the trust fund which was depleted with more people out of work during the pandemic, and $500 million in payments to frontline workers – approximately $750 per person. Another $190 million is provided to Minnesota Management & Budget for continued COVID-19 expenses.

As it relates to COVID-19 expenditures, the bill also features language allowing either legislative body to reject an expenditure instead of the current requirement for both bodies to object.

The Senate approved the bill earlier Friday and it has now been sent to Gov. Walz for his signature.