Feb 7, 2022 - Politics

Minnesota Legislature renews COVID-19 workers compensation law

capitol dome
Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

The divided Minnesota Legislature has reached its first deal.

Driving the news: Gov. Tim Walz on Friday signed legislation that renews an expired measure making it easier for some frontline workers to qualify for workers' compensation if they contract COVID-19 on the job.

  • The original presumption rule, used by an estimated 22,500 Minnesotans since the pandemic began, had expired at the end of 2021.

Who's impacted: About 183,000 workers, including health care and long-term care workers, first responders, correctional officers and child care providers.

Of note: The original measure has resulted in about $20 million in claims since its enactment, far less than the $500 million estimate, DFL Rep. Dan Wolgamott, one of the bill's authors, said ahead of a floor vote last week.

What's next: Some lawmakers pledged to push for additional legislation to include workers who fell ill last month and wouldn't be covered by the new law, which was not retroactive.

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