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Bill to extend unemployment benefits to hourly school workers is included in House Jobs legislation

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation that included an amendment authored by Rep. Emma Greenman (DFL - Minneapolis) to extend unemployment insurance benefits to hourly school workers. 

“Minnesotans who care for, feed, educate, and transport our students are currently excluded from unemployment benefits that other Minnesota workers receive,” said Rep. Greenman. “Today, we voted to correct this unfairness. If we provide hourly school workers with the basic economic security they deserve, these Minnesotans will be able to continue supporting our students and coming back to a job they love.” 

Under current law, hourly school workers don’t have access to unemployment benefits during the summer months. If they lose a second job or have their hours cut during the summer months, they cannot collect unemployment insurance like other seasonal workers. This forces dedicated, talented workers to leave the field.  

Rep. Greenman’s legislation extends unemployment benefits to bus drivers, paraprofessionals, nutrition staff, custodians, and other hourly school workers. It will help schools recruit and retain workers and prevent staffing shortages.