Republicans, and at least one prominent Democrat, want 2.7 billion dollars from state coffers to repay the federal government and replenish Minnesota’s unemployment insurance fund, which has been depleted by COVID.  D-F-L Representative Gene Pelowksi from Winona:

“This has to be paid back, or our businesses get a tax increase.  We have not recovered from the pandemic, but we’re making huge strides.”

House Speaker, Democrat Melissa Hortman suggested last week the state spend one billion dollars to beef-up the unemployment insurance fund, if in exchange Republicans agree to a like amount for COVID bonuses for front-line workers.  That has been deadlocked at the legislature since last summer.  Republican Senator Eric Pratt contends recharging unemployment insurance is “way too important” for House leaders to hold up.  They respond, so are bonuses for front-line workers.