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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Statement from Speaker Hortman and Majority Leader Winkler on COVID economic relief package

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler released the following statements on COVID-19 economic relief legislation:


“The burden of protecting Minnesotans from the spread of COVID-19 has hit some businesses and workers harder than others. While we join state leaders across the country in urging federal action to provide economic relief as soon as possible, we are working as quickly as we can on state measures to provide additional assistance,” said Speaker Hortman. “We need to work together to help those struggling during this tough time, and then turn our attention in the 2021 Session to rebuilding Minnesota’s economy in the wake of this pandemic.”


“The public health guidelines and restrictions in place are needed and saving lives, but hurting an important segment of businesses and our economy. The state needs to take action,” said Majority Leader Winkler. “We have seen a pattern with many COVID efforts from the federal government — corporations, the wealthy, and well-connected have been the biggest beneficiaries of federal aid, while working families have to make do with what’s left. We have to do better in Minnesota. With strong investments in unemployment insurance and other programs that aid low-income families, we can help those who are struggling the most. We are ready to work with our Republican colleagues to provide relief as soon as possible for both workers and businesses.”


The COVID-19 relief package from House DFLers and Governor Walz includes critical measures to: 


  • Keep Small Businesses Afloat 
    • Provide direct aid to businesses through Business Assistance Program 
    • Waive State and regulatory fees for bars, restaurants, event centers, craft breweries, and more
    • Establish eviction moratorium so small businesses can stay in their locations


  • Support Workers Struggling to Get By
    • Extend unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks, helping as many as 100,000 workers whose benefits currently end late December
    • Provide a $500 one-time emergency payment to struggling families


  • Help Minnesota Families Put Food on the Table
    • Establish one-time grant to restaurants to provide food for healthcare workers, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities
    • Provide a tax credit for businesses that donate food that would otherwise spoil or be thrown away