Gov. Dayton Signs Bill Extending Benefits to Iron Range Miners

Governor Mark Dayton has signed a long-awaited bill to extend unemployment benefits for thousands of laid-off miners on the Iron Range. 

Dayton signed the bill Thursday after it cleared the Legislature.  The Democratic governor also signed a bill providing a tax break for Minnesota businesses, but said he disagreed with the tactics Republicans used to pass it. 

Republicans who control the House had pushed to pair unemployment benefits extension for steelworkers with tax relief for businesses to furnish the state’s unemployment fund.  Democrats insisted they be passed separately. 

Dayton delayed a planned trip to California so he could sign the bills immediately. 

Thousands of laid-off steelworkers and mine employees who had already used up state benefits should start receiving unemployment checks next week. 

“I am very pleased to finally sign into law today the bill, which provides 26 weeks of additional benefits to unemployed workers on the Iron Range. I salute the Senate Majority Leader, Tom Bakk, for his heroic efforts to pass this legislation. And I thank all of the Range legislators for their hard work to bring these urgently needed benefits to their constituents. I know they share my frustration that it took so long to accomplish” said Dayton. 

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