As the year comes to a close, my colleagues and I are busy gearing up for the 2021 legislative session. We're prepared to hit the ground running on January 5, when newly-elected members are sworn in and our regular legislative schedule resumes. While there are many challenges ahead, I remain confident that we can overcome them together.
In the meantime, please continue sharing your ideas and feedback. Your input will help us craft new legislation and set the course for a productive session.
Economic Assistance for Small Businesses and Workers
Thanks to the bipartisan COVID-19 assistance package we passed earlier this month, an estimated 5,800 small businesses will receive direct aid payments soon. Business owners don’t need to take any action to receive this aid. The Department of Revenue will determine which businesses are eligible for assistance and the amount of their payment. You can find more information about which businesses are eligible and payment amounts here.
Recently-passed federal legislation will provide 11 more weeks of coverage and supplemental payments to those receiving unemployment benefits. Yesterday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) shared an update on how this legislation may impact Minnesota workers. DEED is setting up the new federal programs and hopes to start making payments next week. You can read the full update here. More information is available at uimn.org.
Update: Youth and Amateur Sports
Youth and amateur sports are allowed to resume practices on January 4. The Minnesota Department of Health recently released updated guidelines that will help minimize risks and keep athletes safe as they return to play. The guidelines, which you can read here, include limiting practice sizes and spectators.
The Air We Breathe Report
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently released The Air We Breathe, a biennial report on our state’s air quality and the MPCA’s efforts to improve it. The report includes information about air pollution, emerging air quality issues, and opportunities to reduce emissions and better protect the health of Minnesotans. You can read it here.
Voyageurs Wolf Project
The Voyageurs Wolf Project, which receives support from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, studies wolves and their prey in and around Voyageurs National Park in Northern Minnesota. They recently put together a video of all of the animals that crossed a particular beaver dam over the course of this year. It’s a great look at Minnesota’s changing seasons and diverse wildlife! You can watch it here.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance. You can reach me anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-6828.
I wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy new year.