ST. PAUL (LEARFIELD) – Over 901-thousand people have applied for COVID front-line worker “hero bonuses” with the July 22nd application deadline approaching.

That’s significantly over the 667-thousand that officials estimated — and Governor Tim Walz was asked, does that mean checks will be smaller than 750 dollars?

“I want to stay away from doing the exact math on this, but the answer is yes, and I think it’s probably one of the reasons — I don’t think I’m speaking out of order for these folks — that they advocated for the billion dollars and the expanded pool of folks.”

Advocates for front-line workers wanted a larger pot of money available for qualified applicants.  Senate Republicans respond the 500 million dollars the legislature approved in late April is double what all the parties agreed to last year.

State law requires the 500 million dollars be equally divided among all qualified applicants, with each bonus check not to exceed 15-hundred dollars — although it now appears checks might be less than that.