The House met today and passed a bill SF 4489 providing flexibility for our restaurants, by allowing those with appropriate liquor licensing to include a prepackaged alcoholic beverage with a food takeout order. The temporary measure is limited to beer, seltzer, cider and wine. Local governments may elect to prohibit this temporary measure if they desire.
This bill was moved forward in cooperation with the Senate and Gov. Walz. The governor in an emergency may shut down businesses. However, he does not have authority to change Minnesota statutes defining how alcohol may be sold.
Make no mistake, today’s effort at best is a token move in providing some flexibility to businesses in delivering services in a safe and reasonable manner. The legislature and the governor have not yet gotten it right in providing reasonable guidance that allows our Main Street businesses to conduct operations that can be done safety, more flexibility is needed.
Despite my exasperation with the slow pace of opening our Main Street businesses, the governor has recognized some of our concerns by issuing EO-20-38 which focuses on outdoor recreational activities, examples include:
As many of you are aware, the first case of COVID-19 has been recorded in Aitkin County. That individual is relatively young and as of today is at home recuperating. Our neighbors in Crow Wing County have experienced 17 COVID-19 positives to date.
That is a compelling reminder that we all must continue to practice all the important guidelines of social distancing and take special care to protect all those that are more vulnerable to this very nasty pestilence.
Despite this recent news, I remain confident in the exceptional job our front-line troops, our healthcare workers, hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living centers, emergency responders and public safety professionals in protecting us and defeating this pandemic.
In closing I will continue to explore every opportunity to get all our people here in rural Minnesota back to work in a safe manner even under these very challenging circumstances. Thank you for your continued resolve, please be safe and considerate of others.