Lawmakers agree on COVID-19 business relief, but unemployment is sticking point
December 11, 2020
A plan to give out $216.5 million in state aid to Minnesota businesses suffering pandemic pain has backing from both parties at the State Capitol, but they remain split over unemployment benefits.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have spent weeks negotiating a relief package meant as a financial bridge for Minnesotans struggling with the toll of COVID-19 and awaiting another round of federal aid. Gov. Tim Walz has urged the Legislature to approve a relief package during Monday's special session.
While legislators want to start distributing aid to businesses by the end of the month, they continued to clash Thursday over the scope of the state assistance. Negotiators agreed on an amount to be distributed to businesses, but they remain "too far apart" on unemployment insurance, said Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake.