On Monday, the Senate Jobs and Economic Growth and Finance and Policy Committee approved its $ 348 million bill, which its main theme is economic and business recovery for the whole of Minnesota. Senate Archives 1098 focuses on economic recovery; workforce training and business development services; and addresses the lack of daycare centers in many communities.
The project, authored by Senator Eric Pratt (R- Prior Lake), provides $ 100 million for the creation of a small business loan guarantee program. By securing 80% of a small business loan with state dollars, private lenders are expected to lend $ 250 million in private equity to help companies as they enter a period of economic recovery. Also included in the account is $ 17.5 million for workforce training and business development services to ensure that Minnesota has a trained workforce. $ 3.2 million will make up for the state’s shortage of child care facilities, helping to reduce the costs that providers are facing with falling demand for services.
“This bill has one goal: to help our small businesses and workforce recover after a long year of restrictions, closings and financial difficulties,” said Pratt. “Main Street businesses were put in the juicer and, consequently, many will never reopen their doors. This project focuses on guiding and assisting companies that survived, as well as the workforce, during the approaching economic recovery, and I think we were really able to hit the nail on the head. “
Notably, this legislation gives companies the ability to operate at full capacity with a COVID-19 security plan in place and requires that any future executive orders designed to partially close or close deals receive the support of a majority of the House and Senate before come into effect.
In response to the large number of problems reported in the past year with the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program, this bill also focuses on reforming and updating various SD benefit provisions. It includes the removal of a provision that automatically makes high school students ineligible for unemployment benefit benefits. Many working students were unable to receive benefits during COVID shutdowns. This amendment allows them to do so, as long as they comply with the other requirements currently in law. In addition, this legislation would also expand the types of reemployment training services that meet the “proper job” requirement for unemployment benefit recipients, thus expanding the options for individuals to receive benefits and simultaneously receive services. of workforce training.
“This year has been especially challenging for our workforce and employees, and has exposed a number of shortcomings in our current UI system. This project updates our unemployment insurance provisions so that Minnesota workers who find themselves unemployed during a period of crisis, especially students and the elderly who have had their wages taxed by the unemployment benefit premium, can actually enroll and receive underwriting benefits. Pratt continued. “A large part of our workforce was unexpectedly out of jobs, and many of these people found that they could not cover basic expenses because of old and mysterious regulations. We need to do what we can to ensure that these problems do not arise again, and we must also ensure that displaced people from their workplaces are able to rise again. ”
In addition, a text that reforms the Wage Theft Prevention Act is specifically included in this bill, specifically clarifying the employer’s responsibilities in relation to employee notification requirements. The suggested changes will dispel the confusion surrounding current requirements, ensure that employee protections remain strong and details of compensation are communicated to the employee in a timely manner.
Other important provisions included in the legislation are:
- Expansion of workplace accommodations for pregnant and lactating mothers
- Removing a provision that deducts 50% of a UI applicant’s social security income from their UI insurance benefit
- Modification to the building code that will help lower costs, ensuring that construction safety remains a priority
- Reducing the time an employee needs to work for an employer (from 12 to 3 months) for the purpose of participating in the Shared Work Program
“This bill also focuses on the recovery of companies and employees: we are removing barriers to employment, we are training people today for tomorrow’s jobs and we are making Minnesota a viable place to invest. Leaving the heels of COVID and a massive recession, we were able to formulate a bipartisan bill. I am proud to say that this project is 100% focused on helping Minnesota residents get back to work and on the road to economic recovery, ”concluded Pratt.