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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Huot (DFL)

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COVID-19 Economic Assistance Update

Friday, December 18, 2020

Rep. Huot


Dear Neighbors,

With unemployment benefits to expire the day after Christmas, many businesses struggling to stay open, and no comprehensive federal aid package, the Minnesota House had to take quick action at the state level to deliver immediate assistance.

Building off the support package the House announced on November 24, we were able to secure bipartisan support from the Senate and governor to pass legislation that extends unemployment for 13 weeks and delivers direct financial assistance to small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.

Key components of the state assistance package, which the governor has signed into law, include:

  • A 13-week extension of unemployment benefits. Without this legislative action, over 100,000 Minnesota workers were on track to lose benefits on December 26 when funding under the federal CARES Act expires.
  • $88 million of financial aid to businesses experiencing economic harm due to the pandemic. Those eligible businesses include restaurants, bars, coffee shops, breweries, wineries and distilleries with taprooms or tasting rooms, caterers, bowling alleys, and some gyms and fitness centers.
  • $14 million worth of grants to movie theaters and large convention centers.
  • $114.8 million for county grants to other affected businesses, including hotels, museums, arcades and live theater venues.
  • Waiver or delay of a series of fees for the hospitality industry, including 2 a.m. liquor licenses for bars, caterers that serve alcohol, wastewater permitting fees for small breweries, and certain late payment penalties for food related businesses.
  • Extension of the deadline for families to apply for free and reduced-price lunch.

You can go here to learn more about applying for or extending unemployment benefits. Business owners in Dakota County impacted by the pandemic can learn more about the grant process and eligibility here.





First Shipments of COVID-19 Vaccine Arrive to Minnesota

Last week, before the vaccine's arrival in our state, Governor Walz announced Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan. Keeping speed, equity, and safety in mind - the plan was made in partnership with the federal government to ensure we’re making the most of the limited supply we’ll have for now. 

The first to receive the vaccine in Minnesota will be health care workers and long-term care residents, followed by essential workers, seniors, and people with preexisting conditions that are more likely to become seriously ill with this virus. While the arrival of the vaccine is incredibly good news, we’re still a long way from it becoming available to all who want one. In the meantime, it’s important that we continue adhering to the public health guidelines that have kept our communities safe - social distancing, hand washing, wearing a mask, and getting tested when we feel sick

Updated Guidance for Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, and Other Venues

Governor Walz announced this week next steps in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, with a focus on education, businesses, and protecting statewide hospital access. You can read more about these measures here.


Keep in Touch

Although the holidays look different this year, I wish you and your family a relaxing and peaceful season. Stay well and be safe. Contact me anytime with questions, input, or to let me know how I can help at


It’s an honor to serve our Rosemount, Apple Valley, and Coates residents and families at the Minnesota House.