Walz signs bill extending UI benefits for Iron Range workers

Gov. Tim Walz has signed a bill to provide additional unemployment insurance (UI) benefits for Iron Range workers.

The bill, signed Wednesday, was approved by the Minnesota House of Representatives on Monday and by the Minnesota Senate two weeks ago.

The legislation provides an extra 26 weeks of benefits to more than 400 employees laid off when Northshore Mining was idled last May. That idling is expected to continue until at least April.

Typically, Minnesota’s unemployment benefits expire after six months.

“Amid a time of uncertainty, this is a critical economic support for workers on the Iron Range,” Walz said in a statement. “We will continue to work together with our partners in the legislature to move Minnesota forward, strengthen communities across the Iron Range, and ensure Minnesota’s working families have the support and resources they need to thrive.”