On Wednesday, Governor Tim Walz announced his ‘stay-at-home’ order will continue until the beginning of May. In response, Senator Eric Pratt (R-Prior Lake), chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee, issued the following statement:
“Over the past month, our state has taken aggressive and unprecedented steps to confront this public health emergency. Minnesotans are sacrificing and suffering as we work together to beat the coronavirus – and we are now beginning to see the positive effects of our actions.
“While I do acknowledge the complexity of the situation, I remain deeply concerned about this shutdown’s continued negative effects on our economy. As I stated in my letter to Commissioner Grove earlier this week, Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said it best: the best way to lessen the economic shock and reduce the amount of permanent job loss is by keeping people employed.
“As we approach the light at the end of this tunnel, surely there must be a way to balance the health of Minnesotans with beginning to bring our economy back online. One of the biggest assets of small businesses are their ability to adapt to changing demand. Let’s recognize that flexibility and match it with our own innovative solutions. For example, rather than a blanket classification of ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’, perhaps we might consider whether a business can safely operate instead – giving certain entities the freedom to reopen while maintaining social distance and following guidelines that protect employees and customers.
“As chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee, I join my colleagues in standing ready to assist the administration in getting people back to work.”
Senator Eric Pratt represents Scott County in the Minnesota Senate. He serves as chair of the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth Finance and Policy Committee and is an assistant majority leader.