Tim Walz (D)
Scott Jensen (R)
|Walz signed a bill providing $500 million in “hero pay” to frontline essential workers, including grocery and meat processing, for their work during the pandemic.||Jensen opposed a bill providing “hero pay” to frontline workers in grocery and meat processing for their work during the pandemic.|
|Walz has been steadfast in his support for a $15 minimum wage as governor and a member of Congress. ||Jensen has no plans to increase Minnesota’s minimum wage, and in fact voted for a bill that prohibited localities from establishing a minimum wage rate higher than the state’s rate. |
Paid Time Off & Sick Leave
|Walz is a proponent of paid time off, calling it “just smart policy” and “long overdue.” He supports guaranteeing paid time off for workers with a new child or serious illness. In early 2022, Walz unveiled a plan to set up a state-run program for 12 weeks of paid family leave and 48 hours of paid sick time. ||Jensen has said he supports establishing a family and maternity leave program but has provided no details. |
Helping Essential Workers
|Walz repeatedly supported essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He signed a bill providing $500 million in bonuses to frontline workers, calling it “a great deal during the pandemic to keep their communities safe and our economy strong.”||Jensen voted against relief programs for Minnesota workers and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. |
|As Minnesota’s COVID-19 fund was nearing zero, Walz called on the state legislature to replenish it, since it in part supplied PPE for frontline workers. Walz ensured frontline grocery and meatpacking workers had priority access to COVID-19 vaccines.|
|Walz supported families at risk during the pandemic. He unveiled a $5 billion plan to boost childcare funding and pre-K resources and supported using the budget surplus to supplement childcare providers and broaden eligibility for family assistance. |
|While in Congress, Walz voted for the Affordable Care Act, which nearly halved Minnesota’s uninsured rate, extended additional coverage to over 100,000 Minnesotans, and provided lower premiums to 62% of Minnesotans who use the marketplace. As governor, he has vocally continued his support for the law, saying it has provided “thousands of Minnesotans” with “affordable access to life-saving health care.”||Jensen has not come out in support of the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid expansion. Jensen voted against lowering the cost of drugs like insulin, and he opposed a bill that would require pharmaceutical companies to pay into a fund addressing the opioid crisis and for treatment for opioid addiction. |
|Walz signed a bill investing $60 million into Minnesota’s mental health system to increase hospital bed capacity, hire new mental health care professionals, and expand mobile crisis units. He also signed a bill investing $300 million at the county level toward public health and safety initiatives and addressing the opioid epidemic.|
|Walz supports the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) which allows Medicare to negotiate drug prices, caps monthly insulin costs and extends Affordable Care Act subsidies for low-income Americans. |
Economic Insecurity & Inflation
|Walz’s 2022 budget proposal included provisions to combat economic insecurity, including expanding Minnesota’s dependent care credit and eligibility for the state’s K–12 education credit.||Jensen’s economic plan to fight inflation would result in cuts to key programs such as education and health care. Jensen’s tax plan would disproportionately benefit the wealthiest Minnesotans and burden low- to middle-income Minnesotans with higher sales and property taxes.|
|To combat rising gas prices, Walz urged Congress to pause the federal gas tax.||Jensen opposed the bipartisan $12 billion budget deal that would use the state’s surplus to invest in tax relief, rainy day savings, and health care, education, and public safety. |
|Walz supports the Inflation Reduction Act, which raises taxes on corporations and the ultrawealthy while easing life for millions of Americans by lowering energy costs and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Walz’s budget proposed direct payments of $1,000 to all adult Minnesotans to deal with inflation, however, the legislature reduced that proposal to a far smaller state childcare tax credit instead. |
Meatpacking & Agriculture Industries
|Walz is a strong supporter of the agriculture industry, saying, “Agriculture and food processing are foundational to Minnesota’s economy, and yet, workers in these industries face immense challenges, particularly regarding workplace safety, employment protections, and access to safe housing, health care, and transportation.”||Jensen urged his colleagues in the Minnesota Legislature to “hold the line” and not pass a state budget which included money for agriculture. |
|Walz created a Governor’s Committee on Safety, Health and Wellbeing of Agricultural and Food Processing Workers. Officers from UFCW Local 663 and from UFCW Local 1189 are among the members of this committee.|
|Walz signed legislation creating a meatcutter apprenticeship program to expand the workforce and create more opportunities for skilled work in the industry. |
Unions & Labor
|Walz is an ardent supporter of labor unions, saying, “Minnesota is a labor state. We can’t afford a governor who will undermine labor unions.” He has added, “I am labor, I stand with labor, and as governor, I will keep Minnesota a labor state and stop right-to-work in its tracks.”||Jensen had received a lifetime score of 19% from the Minnesota AFL-CIO, meaning he voted against the working people 81% of the time. |
|Walz has received numerous union endorsements, including from UFCW Local 1189, Minnesota AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union Minnesota State Council, Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters, Education Minnesota, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Minnesota State Council, and International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 86. |
CHECK THE FACTS:
Office of the Governor, 10/1/2021; KMSP, 10/1/2021; Twitter, @Tim_Walz, 10/24/2018; Becker Hospital Review, 6/8/2022.
Minnesota Legislature, HF 600, 4/20/2017; Project Vote Smart, 4/20/2017; Twitter, @drscottjensen, 6/17/2022; Becker Hospital Review, 6/8/2022.
Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor, accessed 9/6/2022; Minnesota Legislature, H.F. 600, 4/20/2017; Project Vote Smart, 4/20/2017.
Minnesota Post, 5/4/2022; MPR News, 4/28/2022; Office of the Governor, 5/8/2020; Lakeland PBS, 3/28/2022; St. Paul Pioneer Press, 6/8/2022; Alexandria Echo Press, 2/4/2022; St. Paul Pioneer Press, 1/25/2022; KMSP, 5/9/2022; Minneapolis Star Tribune, 12/29/2021.
Minnesota Legislature, SF 31, 12/14/2020; Project Vote Smart, 12/14/2020.
U.S. House of Representatives, Roll Call 165, 3/21/2010; Twitter, @GovTimWalz, 6/17/2021; Office of Governor, 1/5/2022; KIMT, 6/7/2022; Twitter, @GovTimWalz, 8/16/2022; Senate Democrats, accessed 8/8/2022; Washington Post, 9/3/2021; Morning Star, 8/16/2022; Health Care Dive, 8/15/2022; KEYC, 5/12/2022; State Health Access Data Assistance Center, February 2017.
- Minnesota Legislature, HR 3100, 2/11/2020; Project Vote Smart, 2/11/2020; Alliance for a Better Minnesota, 12/10/2021; Facebook, Alliance for a Better Minnesota, 3/19/2019; Alliance for a Better Minnesota, 12/10/2021; Kaiser Health News, 4/2/2018; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/11/2018; Minnesota Reformer, 8/26/2022.
- Office of Governor, 1/20/2022; Office of Governor, 7/15/2022; MPR News, 3/8/2022; @GovTimWalz, 8/16/2022; Senate Democrats, accessed 8/8/2022; White House, accessed 9/7/2022. ; Fox9 KMSP, 4/4/2022; Minnesota Reformer, 7/27/2022.
- Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor, accessed 9/6/2022; Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor, accessed 9/6/2022; Minnesota Reformer, 8/26/2022; Minnesota DFL, 5/18/2022; Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor, accessed 9/6/2022; Twitter, @drscottjensen, 5/11/2022.
- Food & Beverage Insider, 3/22/2021; Office of Governor, 1/20/2022; Ag Week, 4/1/2021; Minneapolis Post, 10/1/2021.
- Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor, accessed 9/6/2022; Duluth News Tribune, 8/20/2022; Dr. Scott Jensen for Governor, accessed 9/6/2022.
- Facebook, Tim Walz for Governor, 10/29/2018; Twitter, @Tim_Walz, 6/21/2022; Walz Flanagan, 3/12/2022.
- Minnesota AFL-CIO, accessed 9/7/2022.