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Minnesota workers who qualify for "hero pay" relating to the COVID-19 pandemic will see checks arrive starting this week, though the amount they'll be receiving is less than lawmakers had intended.

The Office of Gov. Tim Walz confirmed that 1,025,655 frontline workers qualified for the payments passed by the Minnesota Legislature, and will receive $487.45 as a result.

Payments will start going out this Wednesday, and will continue to be processed through the fall.

The final amount each frontline worker will receive is less than lawmakers had intended, because the number who applied was vastly higher than had been expected.

The DFL had pushed for $1 billion in direct payments of $1,500 for a broader range of frontline workers, and anticipated 667,000 would qualify and apply for the payouts. Republicans had a narrower definition of "frontline workers" and wanted to spend $250 million to give $1,200 checks to around 200,000 workers.

A compromise deal was reached, with $500 million set aside for checks that were estimated to be worth $750 per frontline worker, but that was based on the 667,000 estimated by the DFL to qualify.

As it turns out, more than a million qualified and applied for the money, reducing the individual payouts to $487.75.

Walz's office says those who applied to be paid by direct deposit can expect to see the payments arrive in 7-10 days.

"I’m grateful for the work Minnesotans did to help people across our state stay healthy and safe through the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Walz. 

"Frontline workers are an important part of the fabric of our state and helped us continue functioning during the pandemic. Now, I’m proud to say these workers will receive $487.45 in recognition from the State of Minnesota."

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