Minnesota Senate Majority Leader talks bipartisan effort to distribute hero pay

jeremy miller
Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, speaks to reporters on Sept. 9 — the day after he was elected leader of the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus.
Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Minnesota lawmakers have spent months trying to come to an agreement on what to do with $250 million dollars in hero pay, or bonsues, for state front-line workers, drought relief and COVID relief.

On Friday, Gov. Walz and House Speaker Melissa Hortman asked Senate leaders to meet in a special session to try and distribute the bonus funds, including aid to drought-stricken farmers, by December 2.

Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, a Republican representing the Winona area, joined Cathy Wurzer on Morning Edition to talk about the bipartisan effort to dole out the funds.

“It's been difficult for the Legislature to get the governor's cooperation over the past couple of years. And I was hoping with the relationship that I've had with the governor, that we could make some good progress,” he said.

Miller also says he hopes to meet soon with Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, which could help defuse a confirmation standoff that has been one hangup in special session talks between legislative leaders and Walz.

Several GOP senators want to remove Malcolm over decisions made during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walz says he won’t call a special session without an agreed-upon agenda that also leaves his cabinet intact.

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