House, Senate pass $216 million relief package that awaits Walz's signature
December 16, 2020
A signature in black ink could provide some green for business owners that have been seeing red.
The House and Senate agreed Monday on a proposal to provide $216.5 million to help businesses that have experienced a sales decline. As part of the year's seventh special session - necessitated by Gov. Tim Walz extending his emergency powers in response to COVID-19 - members also agreed on a plan to extend unemployment benefits to applicants who have exhausted all available state and federal unemployment benefits.
Following the 117-13 House vote - after 62-4 passage by the Senate a few hours prior - all that's needed is the governor's signature.
"Although we are hoping the federal government will take the kind of action they need to and provide the kind of substantial relief that Minnesotans need, we're stepping in at this moment to provide a package that will help workers and businesses and families," House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) said at a pre-session news conference.
"This is about people who are really hurting," Rep. Dave Baker (R-Willmar) said at a morning news conference. "Retail stores are packed now for the holidays. There's a lot of commerce going on and a lot of folks are just going nuts by sitting on the sideline by not being able to participate with that. And it's causing a lot of heartburn and concern. ... Today's a good day for business relief." Read the full story at Session Daily