Governor Walz Celebrates Relief for Small Businesses and Frontline Workers in Ceremonial Bill Signing
ST. PAUL, MN (STL.News) Governor Tim Walz joined legislators, commissioners, small business owners, and frontline workers from across the state to celebrate the ceremonial bill signing of Chapter 50, SF 2677. This bill was signed into law Friday evening by Governor Walz and provides direct payments to frontline workers and replenishes the unemployment trust fund.
“This bipartisan bill will cut costs and save money for small businesses and frontline workers,” said Governor Walz. “I’m grateful for everyone that got us to this point today, and I am hopeful that in the next three weeks we will build on this bipartisan accomplishment and deliver more for Minnesota.”
“I am proud to be able to provide financial relief for so many Minnesotans,” said Lieutenant Governor Flanagan. “These are the people who made tremendous sacrifices to keep us safe throughout the pandemic – and this is the least we can do to recognize them. Hearing stories of how this money can make the difference between a small business staying open or shutting down or a frontline worker staying at their job really proved how much of a difference this legislation can make for our state.”
This bill includes $500 million for direct payments to frontline workers and $2.7 billion to replenish the unemployment trust fund and prevent tax increases on small businesses that bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the first quarter of 2022, 130,000 businesses will receive UI tax relief with the passing of this bill. Roughly $200 million is the total amount of relief provided in this bill.
An estimated 667,000 frontline workers will be eligible for a payment in recognition of their contribution to Minnesotans throughout the past two years. Frontline workers include those who work in long-term care and home care, health care, emergency response, public health, social service, regulatory service, courts and corrections, child care, food service, retail, temporary shelters and hotels, building services, public transit, ground and air transportation services, manufacturing, and vocational rehabilitation. Individuals must apply through Minnesota’s Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) over the 45 day application period to quality for a payment. Details of the program, including the application process, will be available on www.frontlinepay.mn.gov.