Dear Granite City Neighbors,
Things are moving fast here in St. Paul. With the 2022 Legislative Session required to end by Monday, May 23, we have a lot of ground to cover in an increasingly short period of time - but the work is getting done.
As we wait for a compromise to be reached on our supplemental budget, we’re also taking on issues Minnesotans and businesses have been pushing for years. Prior to the pandemic, breweries across the state dealt with inflexible regulations around container laws, the kind of inflexibility that only exacerbated their struggles during the pandemic. I’m looking to improve their situation, which is why I voted to pass a bipartisan and rarely-seen liquor bill last week.
The craft beer industry is one of the fastest-growing in Minnesota, with many becoming community gathering points and travel destinations. The current growler cap only serves to stifle these businesses. By drastically increasing the growler cap, and eliminating other over-prescriptive container size regulations, we’re helping breweries like Pantown, Beaver Island, and others all over the state live up to their full potential.
With Speaker Hortman at Beaver Island Brewing
Specifically, the proposal we passed in the House increases the growler cap for breweries from 20,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels of beer sold annually. Other provisions in the bill include allowing breweries to sell six packs, four packs, and other small containers to the public; allowing distilleries to sell more products to the public and removing the cap on cocktail rooms; and allowing liquor stores to sell limes.
Pouring pints at Pantown
The bill we passed in the House is different from the one approved by the Senate, and I’m excited to share that I’ve been appointed to the conference committee to work with my Senate colleagues to craft a final compromise version of this bill. I’m looking forward to the work of building consensus for commonsense reform for these local businesses.
You can read more about this bill here.
The Remaining House Proposals
Since my last update, we’ve now passed all of our supplemental budget proposals in the House. The additional proposals include:
These are all incredibly important bills, but as I serve on the Health Finance and Policy Committee, I’d like to highlight our efforts to reduce healthcare costs for Minnesotans.
Another critical area I’d like to highlight is our proposal to reduce costs for Minnesotans in our Tax bill. With inflation impacting working families and seniors, we passed targeted proposals aimed at taking on the largest expenses they’re facing.
As many of these bills differ greatly from their Senate counterparts, we’re at the point in session where we’re waiting on bipartisan and bicameral versions of these proposals to be crafted by conference committees before we can vote on the final versions and send them to Governor Walz.
Bonuses for Frontline Workers
With our recent compromise to refill the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and invest in Frontline Worker Bonuses, we were able to avoid a tax hike for businesses while ensuring the Minnesotans who kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic are able to receive $750 “Hero Pay” checks.
Looking out for the frontline workers who got our state to where it is today has been a top priority of mine since the onset of COVID-19 in Minnesota. I fought to double the investment in these checks, and expanded eligibility to over 667,000 workers. While the state is still building the application process, you can find information on eligibility and sign up for notifications here.
The frontline sectors include:
Please feel free to reach out to me if you need any assistance in applying for these hard-earned bonuses.
Things will be moving fast in these final days of session, but I always have time to touch base with you. If you have any questions about our proposals and what they’d mean for St. Cloud, please feel free to call or email me. You can contact me at email@example.com, or give me a call at (651) 296-6612.
You can also like and follow my Facebook page. It’s an honor to represent our community in the Minnesota House, and I hope to hear from you!
Rep. Dan Wolgamott