Today the Minnesota Senate passed Senator Eric Pratt’s (R-Prior Lake) Jobs and Economic Growth budget bill. The bill promotes business and economic recovery for all of Minnesota. Senate File 1098 focuses on economic recovery; workforce training and business development services; and addresses the shortage of childcare in many communities.
This legislation creates a Small Business Loan Guarantee program, funds workforce training, and works to address the state’s childcare shortage. Included language also gives businesses the ability to operate at full capacity with a COVID-19 safety plan in place and requires any future Executive Orders aimed at closing or partially closing businesses receive support from the majority of both the House and Senate before going into effect.
“This bill has one goal: devote equal efforts and resources for recovery efforts to both small businesses and the workforce after a long year full of restrictions, shutdowns, and financial hardships,” Pratt said. “After one of the most challenging years in recent history, this budget focuses on removing barriers to employment, getting people trained today for the jobs of tomorrow, and making Minnesota a viable place to invest. Coming off the heels of COVID and a massive recession, we were able to put together a bipartisan bill that is 100% focused on helping Minnesotans get back to work and on the road to economic recovery.”
Other key provisions in the legislation include:
- Expands options for individuals to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits while simultaneously receiving workforce training services
- Removes a provision that makes high school students ineligible for benefits if there is a positive UI Trust Fund balance
- Requires written warnings to be given to businesses for first-time violations of COVID restrictions instead of high-cost fines
- Reforms the Wage Theft Prevention Act to help businesses stay compliant so workers are protected
- Expansion of workplace accommodations for pregnant and nursing mothers
- Removal of a provision that deducts 50% of a UI applicant’s social security income from their UI insurance benefit
- Modification to building code to help decrease costs while ensuring building safety remains a priority
- Reduction of time an employee needs to work for an employer (from 12 to 3 months) for purposes of participating in the Shared Work Program