MN Frontline Workers Getting $750. North Dakota, Not So Much.
Just when we figured all the checkbooks had been locked away...
Minnesota has decided to write half a billion dollars worth of checks to select workers.
On Monday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed off on the plan to have 650,000 Minnesotans split up $500 million. Public News Service is reporting that it works out to be a one-time payment of $750 per voter. Whoops, instead of "voter", I meant to say "essential worker". I'll touch on the whole election angle in a moment. First off...
Who's going to be getting all these checks and where's mine?
Promoted as a "thank you" to essential frontline workers that day in and day out, came to work. It's a wide range of vocations receiving the checks. There are corrections workers, healthcare staff, and even grocery store employees. I'm a radio host and was classified as essential. I even had papers in my glovebox to prove it in case the pandemic police pulled me over. So there are many diverse occupations under the "essential" umbrella. I do feel they may all share this common thread.
A paid-off voter is a motivated and happy voter.
Democrat Tim Walz is up for reelection in 2022. Like most all sitting politicians, the Governor constantly found himself in a furious firestorm over statewide mandates. Even Doug Burgum, a red state Republican governor felt the heat here in North Dakota. So a blue politician in a purple state like Minnesota may be looking for a political pick-me-up. But to the state's credit, they do have money to burn.
The state is working with a vendor to establish an online portal for eligible workers to apply. In the meantime, Brian MacNiell - who also is a member of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees - said it's incredible to see the recognition come through.
"It took so many people to keep this state open, to keep it going," said MacNeill, "even to bring it to the surplus that we're now facing and have as the state of Minnesota."
Coming into the current legislation session, Minnesota had a projected $9 billion surplus.
So credit to the workers that continued to keep the economic engines operating during very difficult conditions. I'll never begrudge an individual's right to financial reward, but I'm always skeptical of the motivation behind great acts of generosity.