ST. PAUL, Minn. – In response to the growing challenge of the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota, the legislature passed a $331 million relief package (HF 4531) today providing additional resources for state agencies, workers, businesses, and other entities in the fight against the virus. The bill passed the Senate unanimously on a vote of 67-0 and now goes to Governor Walz to be signed into law.
“We are facing an unprecedented challenge to our state right now with the effects of COVID-19 being felt in the daily life of every member of our community,” said Senator Dan Sparks (DFL-Austin). “Today’s legislation is the latest step we are taking at the state to ease the uncertainty facing the members of our community and it will help provide economic security and stability. We also know that there is more work to be done, and I’m ready to continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to finish the job.”
As the ranking minority caucus member on the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, Senator Sparks was the Senate minority lead on efforts to allow the Department of Commerce to work with regulated entities and individuals to prevent economic harm. This includes extending registration deadlines, licensing renewal deadlines, unclaimed property claims submission requirements, Petrofund applications, filing deadlines for businesses, and other regulatory measures.
The legislation also creates a COVID-19 Minnesota Relief Fund of $200 million, allowing the Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget to direct funding to various areas of need. While this will provide immediate flexibility, the legislature is also prepared to move swiftly to pass additional legislation as necessary.