Minnesota House of Representatives
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Marlee Schlegel
651-296-9873 or email@example.com
April 24, 2023
Minnesota House passes Jobs budget bill
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Today, the Minnesota House passed its Jobs budget bill on a vote of 69-61. The bill includes the Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee budget, the Workforce Development Finance and Policy Committee budget, and the Labor & Industry Finance and Policy Committee budget. The bill supports Minnesota’s economy with an emphasis on the small business community by investing in infrastructure, increased access to capital, and wealth building. The bill also makes historic investments in developing Minnesota’s workforce so all workers have a chance to prosper in our economy. This year’s budget bill has a special focus on intentional equity, creating tools to help people of color, women, veterans, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups thrive.
The bill is authored by Chair of the Economic Development Finance and Policy Committee, Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL – Minneapolis).
“Minnesota’s economy is strong, but it’s not serving everyone the way it could be,” said Rep. Hassan. “Inflation has had a big impact on Minnesota families, and for many people in the BIPOC community, women, people with disabilities, and low-income Minnesotans, the impact has been catastrophic. People are struggling. Our budget bill includes several solutions to lift up these communities while contributing to our state’s economy in a way that benefits everyone and touches every corner of Minnesota.”
The bill establishes the Emerging Developer Fund program, which will provide loans to less established developers for projects aimed at reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities. This program would open opportunities for the BIPOC community, women, people with disabilities, and low-income Minnesotans to secure low-interest, non-predatory loans to start and run businesses. Data from the Federal Reserve shows Black prospective business owners are denied loans twice as often as white prospective business owners with the same credentials. When loans are approved, Black business owners are stuck with significantly higher interest rates compared to similar white applicants.
The Jobs budget also makes a major investment in a package of competitive grant programs to encourage workforce development, specifically targeted for communities of color and low-income communities. Included in this package is funding for well-established community organizations, like Summit Academy and CLUES, who have a history of preparing Minnesotans for good jobs.
An item in the bill stemming from the Governor’s budget is the creation of the Office of New Americans through DEED. The new Office will serve recent immigrants across the state by reducing barriers to employment opportunities, strengthening connections between employers and immigrants, and improving access to government services.
The bill also invests in the Empowering Enterprise Program, which focuses on rebuilding cultural and economic corridors that sustained infrastructure damage after the murder of George Floyd. Many of the areas in need of infrastructure improvements are located in primarily BIPOC communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and once vibrant, pedestrian-friendly areas have storefronts still boarded up, broken windows, and low foot traffic. By making this investment, lawmakers will help boost culturally rich areas and empower them to thrive while also boosting Minnesota’s economy.
“The House DFL Jobs Budget makes historic investments in Minnesota’s BIPOC communities to grow our economy, support workers and businesses, and improve equity,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “Our budget also will help Minnesota effectively compete for federal investments from the CHIPS Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and other federal legislation. DFLers are committed to building an economy that works better for everyone.”
The budget bill also supports the Child Care Economic Development Grant Program. Managed through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the program focuses on increasing access, quality, and affordability of child care in Minnesota. It also provides business development assistance for child care providers and an enhanced level of coaching for rural child care providers so Minnesota’s kids receive the highest quality of care.
“Minnesota has the resources, the talent, and the ingenuity to create an economy that works for everyone,” said House Majority Leader Jamie Long. “Our jobs and economic development bill will create good-paying jobs and make sure that the people and places who have been historically left behind have equitable opportunities to succeed. In a state with some of the nation’s worst racial disparities for employment and education, we can do more to ensure everyone has a fair shot, and this budget delivers on that.”
The bill also includes necessary actions to help grow the statewide economy, such as supporting non-profits who help create, serve, and sustain small businesses; rewards for high-wage job creation; and support for businesses in Greater Minnesota adversely affected by the halted tourism due to the closing of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in 2021 or the Canadian Border in 2020.
The bill language can be accessed here and a spreadsheet of the investments made in the budget bill can be accessed here. Video of the floor session will be available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.