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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL)

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Economic Assistance for Workers and Small Businesses Approved

Friday, December 18, 2020

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Monday night, the Minnesota House approved a new economic assistance package to help small businesses and workers struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation includes direct financial assistance to the hardest hit businesses and helps protect economic security for workers by extending unemployment benefits.

The bill includes a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance and direct financial support for businesses. The Department of Revenue estimates that 5,800 small businesses will receive $82-88 million beginning before the end of the year. Another $114.5 million will be distributed to counties to provide grants to impacted businesses, and movie theaters and convention centers will receive $14 million. In this bill, Hennepin County would receive just over $25.2 million for small business grants.

The bill waives or delays 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. Finally, the legislation extends the deadline for families to apply for free and reduced-price lunch.

This has been a very difficult nine months for Minnesota's workers and small businesses as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. I am pleased we came together to pass a compromise measure to help our neighbors weather the storm. The extension of unemployment for those who have lost jobs through no fault of their own should provide some stability during these uncertain times. Additionally, I worked with many of my colleagues to provide help to our breweries, taprooms, and distilleries in addition to our many restaurants, bars, and other small businesses.

More information on what’s in the bill can be found here, and the specifics on eligible businesses, program requirements, and payment amounts here.

You can read my news statement here.

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

On Wednesday, Governor Walz provided an update for bars, restaurants, gyms, and other venues which will start on December 19:

  • Bars, restaurants, and breweries: Will remain closed for indoor dining, but they may open for outdoor service at 50 percent capacity or up to 100 people.
  • Gyms and fitness studios: May open for individual exercise at 25 percent capacity, or 100 people maximum.
  • Youth and adult sports: Practices can resume January 4.
  • Outdoor entertainment venues: Open at 25 percent capacity, up to 100 people maximum.
  • Social Gatherings: Minnesotans may gather inside with one other household up to 10 people. If outside, social gatherings may include up to two additional households (three total) with a maximum of 15 people. Masking and social distancing is strongly encouraged.

You can find information on these updates and more at StaySafe.MN




COVID-19 Vaccination Update

After many long months, there is light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Last week, Gov. Walz and health experts announced Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan, in partnership with the federal government and local communities. 

The goal is to quickly, equitably, and safely deliver the vaccine to Minnesotans across the state. There will be 25 distribution hubs set up across Minnesota to directly receive vaccine deliveries through the national vaccine distribution chain. The vaccine will then be distributed further to smaller hospitals or clinics, or “spokes.” COVID-19 vaccines will be provided to people at no cost.

The vaccine news means we’re heading in the right direction, but it’s still extremely important for us to continue to do all we can to slow the spread and protect each other and hospital capacity by masking, handwashing, distancing, staying home when we can, and getting tested for COVID-19 if feeling sick.

Unemployment for student workers

The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, under the federal CARES Act, does in fact apply to student workers and therefore unemployment benefits are now available for students whose employment was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Payments are being made retroactively. Student workers are encouraged to apply at before December 26. More information is available from Youthprise.

Outside activities

Our unseasonably warm weather creates an opportunity to enjoy our beautiful parks and engage in safe, healthy activities in our COVID world. To find trails and parks in Minneapolis click here.


The legislative session begins on January 5 and our session will continue to operate remotely under public health and safety protocols.

You can continue to contact me at or (651) 296-4219. Be sure to “like” my official state representative Facebook page!

Thank you for the privilege of serving District 60A in the legislature.


Sydney Jordan

State Representative