On Thursday, Governor Walz announced that the Minnesota Department of Revenue has issued $67.3 million in COVID-19 Business Relief Payments to 3,891 businesses across the state. These relief payments were part of bipartisan legislation that the Minnesota House and Senate passed in December.
Checks have been mailed to eligible restaurants, bars, gyms, bowling centers, and similar businesses, and business owners can expect to receive them soon. Businesses that don’t receive a COVID-19 Business Relief Payment but think they meet the program criteria can contact the Department of Revenue through an online inquiry process. That process will begin on Tuesday, January 19, and an additional round of payments will be made after that date for businesses that qualify.
In addition, the assistance package we approved in December delivered funding for Minnesota’s 87 counties to set up local grant relief programs. Dakota County will receive $8,551,447 for this purpose. The legislation also provided relief for movie theaters and convention centers.
Responding to the Attack on Our Nation’s Capitol
Misinformation and harmful conspiracy theories spread by the president and his allies provoked an attack on our nation’s Capitol and on our democracy last week. These events indicate that President Trump is no longer fit to serve. Earlier this week, my colleagues and I sent a letter urging Congress to impeach him for inciting an insurrection.
New Bills Introduced
I introduced three bills this week: HF 91, which bans perchloroethylene - a chemical commonly used for dry cleaning - and helps businesses transition to less harmful alternatives; HF 99, which appropriates funds for the Reinvest in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve program and other conservation purposes; and HF 130, which provides funding to upgrade part of the City of West St. Paul’s wastewater management system. I’ll keep you updated as these bills move through the legislative process.
Clean Cars Public Information Meetings
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is holding a series of public information meetings as part of the Clean Cars Minnesota rulemaking process. The agency is considering adopting Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards that would increase the availability of clean cars and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants and would like to hear feedback from Minnesotans. The public meetings will take place online on January 19, 20, 27 and February 2. You can find more information here.
2021 Industrial Hemp Forum
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is holding an Industrial Hemp Forum from 12 to 4 p.m. on February 10 and 11. Anyone who is interested in hemp or hemp production is welcome to attend this free virtual event. You can find more information here.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-6828 if you have questions, ideas, or feedback. It’s an honor to serve you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.