On Wednesday, Governor Walz called for legislators to reconvene for a special session today at noon. We’ve wrapped up our first day and I wanted to send you a short update on our progress.
Our first order of business today was approving legislation to deliver $62.5 million in grants for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill – which includes $60 million from the federal CARES Act – focuses on Minnesota’s smallest businesses, many of which are not as well-connected with private banks.
Under the bill, small businesses with 50 or fewer employees can receive grants up to $10,000 each. To be eligible, the business must meet the following 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.
In contrast to existing programs designed to help business during the pandemic, grants will be awarded by lottery.
The bill is available here. Video of today’s floor vote is available here.
Reimagining our Public Safety
Our most recent virtual coffee hour sparked a robust conversation about next steps in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. The People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus has carefully crafted several policy proposals that will be vetted and discussed in the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee tomorrow. These include:
- Data Practices Modifications for Peace Officers
- Retroactive Repeal of Statutes of Limitations
- Warrior Training Prohibited
- Choke Hold Ban
- Duty to Intercede
- Police Residency Reform
- Data Collection and Regulatory Reform/etc.
- Arbitration Reform
- Law Enforcement Oversight Council Reform
- Use of Force Reform
- Prosecutorial Reform
- Investigatory Reform
- Cash Bail
- Public Safety Peer Counseling Debriefing
- Police Officer Critical Incident Review
- Community Led Public Safety
- Mental Health Training
- Autism Training
- Restore the Vote
If you’d like to testify, please contact Jason Chavez at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org. You can tune in and watch the hearing here.
I will continue to keep you posted the special session continues.
Have a nice and safe weekend,