League Statement on Minnesota State Legislature’s COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Bill

(April 7, 2020–St. Paul, MN) “The League of Minnesota Cities is deeply concerned that legislation being considered this afternoon lacks a sustainable funding component and may lead to unprecedented stress on the state’s workers’ compensation system. That system is not designed to accommodate needs prompted by a historic pandemic, and identification of an alternative funding source is imperative.

While a great deal of unknowns remain about how the pandemic will unfold, using the state’s own projections we currently estimate workers’ compensation costs for public safety employees ranging from $100 million to more than $500 million. As it now stands, local governments will have no choice but to pass along these costs to property taxpayers at a time when they can least afford it.

The League is proud of the professional and selfless work being performed by public safety and health employees during this extraordinary time, and fully supports providing financial protections for those who contract COVID-19. But passage of today’s legislation leaves critical, unfinished business.

The League of Minnesota Cities requests a partnership between the Legislature and the governor to finish the job and identify a funding source. Our fellow Minnesotans serving in health care and public safety are putting their lives on the line for us. They deserve the best financial protection our state can offer. We can do that without compromising the future of our workers’ compensation system and further burdening local economies.”