The special session adjourned very early Saturday morning. Initially, we were set to go in to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and to pass a robust jobs and local projects or “bonding” bill, but the killing of George Floyd resulted in a statewide and national call for meaningful criminal justice and public safety reforms to also be a priority. In response, my colleagues in the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus crafted a package of comprehensive proposals in the Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020, informed by the shared experiences and expertise of groups that are too often left out of the conversation here at the State Capitol.
CARES Act Funding
The House also passed - with my support - a bill to deliver $841 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to Minnesota’s cities, counties, and towns, and make new investments in the people of Minnesota. Cities would receive $350 million in aid, counties would receive $467 million, and towns would receive $24 million. More aid was also included to help our seniors, veterans, childcare providers, and personal care assistants amid COVID. Some of these provisions fund suicide prevention and housing assistance for veterans, a modest pay raise for personal care assistants (PCAs) who take care of the most vulnerable in our state and are the most likely to contact COVID, and funding for childcare assistance necessary to help childcare providers struggling during the pandemic. I’ll keep advocating for these investments in a future special session.
You can read more about the bill from the nonpartisan office of House Public Information here.
COVID Small Business Grants-Applications Open Today!
Minnesota’s Small Business Relief Grants Program – created by legislation I helped pass during the special session– has begun accepting applications today. The bill created a $62.5 million fund for small business grants up to $10,000, with a focus on businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
Apply today by clicking the link above.
Here is a rundown of the requirements:
- Have a permanent physical location in Minnesota,
- Be owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota,
- Be in good standing with the Secretary of State’s office and the Dept. of Revenue as of March 1, 2020, and
- Demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AARP community survey seeks to inform the work of the Governor’s Council on an Age Friendly Minnesota, which is working to drive coordinated action across state agencies and move Minnesota toward being a more livable, age friendly state. The full survey can be taken by individual Minnesota residents, age 45+ through July 3, 2020.
Input on Distance Learning Experience Needed
The Minnesota Department of Education is continuing to create a plan for what school could look like next fall, and they are seeking input from parents and guardians. Please share your experiences with MDE by taking this survey, which will stay open until June 30.
Looking Ahead to July
Our work in the Minnesota Legislature continues, even if the path forward isn’t exactly clear, as we prepare for a potential date in July to reconvene. Please contact me anytime with questions or input at email@example.com. Follow me on my official Facebook page for additional updates.
Your feedback is always appreciated.