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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, May 15, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

On Wednesday, Governor Walz announced that he is lifting the state's Stay at Home order effective Monday, and laid out plans to allow the reopening of restaurants, churches, and other businesses in the coming weeks. 

Click here to read the executive order in its entirety: https://bit.ly/2WAtpWc 

Starting Monday, all retail stores, malls and other businesses that sell, rent, maintain and repair goods are eligible to reopen as long as they have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan including social distancing guidelines for workers and customers, and allow no more than 50% of the establishment’s occupant capacity at any time.

Restaurants, bars, churches, and other public accommodations will have to wait for now.

Even though I am encouraged that many businesses and employees will be able to return to work on Monday, it is disappointing that churches and other businesses in the hospitality industry will be forced to remain closed for the next few weeks.

Since the shutdown began, I have been in touch with several businesses in our community that have established innovative protocols to protect customers and employees when they are allowed to reopen. It’s time for Governor Walz to trust Minnesotans to protect themselves and their neighbors.

If you’re a business owner, I encourage you to visit DEED’s website to learn more about how you can reopen: https://bit.ly/2T5kud2 

Removing Barriers to Employment

The House approved legislation Thursday, that I co-authored, exempting 16- and 17-year-olds from the prohibition on minors operating amusement rides—which is currently prohibited as a hazardous occupation. The legislation passed on a bipartisan vote of 126-5.

During debate, we successfully offered an amendment to the bill that would permit employers to hire 16- and 17-year-olds to operate lawn-care equipment, such as powered mowers and weed trimmers.

This legislation removes unnecessary barriers to employment for adolescents looking for their first job and will be a huge help for employers in our area including Paul Bunyan Land and the numerous resorts and golf courses that rely on seasonal workers to operate. I was proud to vote for this commonsense bill as a way to help out seasonal workers.

Because it was amended by the House, the bill now returns to the Senate for concurrence where it originally passed 65-2 on April 20th.

Staying in Touch

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at rep.josh.heintzeman@house.mn.

Have a great weekend,

Josh