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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Poston (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. John Poston

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

Late Monday evening, the legislature approved a $216 million relief package to help businesses impacted by Governor Walz's latest shutdown. The package is designed to get money to struggling businesses as quickly as possible and includes money to counties that can target the relief at the businesses who need it most. The bill passed both the House and Senate with overwhelmingly, bipartisan support.

The business relief package included direct grants to businesses, license, and other fee relief, and a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance for workers. The grants are broken into three categories aimed at prioritizing speed.

  • The first category will be $88 million in grants administered automatically by the Department of Revenue (DOR) to restaurants, bars, gyms, bowling alleys, and other businesses that have seen losses of more than 30% compared to last year.
  • The second category is approximately $14 million administered by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for movie theaters and large convention centers, and
  • The third is $112 million in grants that will be administered at the county level. The county-based grants are intended to help additional businesses impacted by the recent closures that do not qualify for the first two grant categories, however, businesses who receive grants from the DOR are not precluded from receiving county-based grants. 

I supported this legislation that will provide needed relief to main street businesses in our community. While this bill is a step in the right direction and will help save businesses and jobs in our community, ultimately, we need to end the Governor’s emergency powers and let businesses reopen with commonsense safety measures.

To that end, I voted once again to end the peacetime emergency on Monday. Sadly, the vote failed on a slim 62-63 margin—with several rural DFLers joining Republicans. To be clear, ending the emergency powers doesn't mean ending our response to the pandemic. The legislature and the governor can work together to make sure our hospitals and health care workers have the resources needed to keep Minnesotans safe. 

Please continue to reach out to me to share your questions, thoughts, or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4293 or via email at

Have a great day,