On Monday, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation that would allow many small businesses to safely resume operations. The bill, Senate File 4511, provides a framework for businesses to return to the workplace and safely resume operations if they follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines. The legislation would take effect the day following enactment and passed in the chamber with a bipartisan vote of 39-28.
“Businesses are opening in our neighboring states to the east and the west, and many of Minnesota’s big box stores have remained open since the start of this crisis,” said Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake). “Unfortunately, our state’s small businesses have been left out of the equation, and that inaction continues to hurt our communities and our residents. Minnesota needs to figure out a plan for them to reopen and needs to work now to get it done safely and responsibly.”
The legislation would allow businesses that are “closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public” due to recent executive orders to resume operations if the business abides by workplace safety recommendations and guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The bill would take effect the day following its enactment.
The legislation awaits a hearing in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
On Monday, the Senate also voted to approve extending the state’s COVID fund, which was set to expire on May 11. The Senate bill allows money in the COVID fund to be used until December 31, 2020. The fund’s current balance is $36.9 million as of Monday, May 11.