We’re just about done with our first month of the 2021 legislative session, and work is ramping up. This week, I presented my first bill of session in the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee, where I also serve as the vice chair. My bill, which would cap fees for restaurants that partner with third-party food delivery services, passed its first hurdle in this committee and is on its way to another hearing in Judiciary Finance and Civil Law.
Throughout the pandemic, many Minnesotans have taken advantage of ordering delivery from their local restaurants – this serves a dual purpose of keeping your family safe and healthy with a restaurant meal at home while supporting a local business during these challenging times. The hospitality industry is facing an uphill road to recovery and this bill will provide much-needed relief to local businesses across the state and ensure they can continue serving our communities now and into the future.
You can read more about this legislation here.
COVID-19 Business Assistance
Keeping with assistance for local businesses, one of the final bills we passed last year was a package of COVID-19 assistance legislation that included $67.3 million in Business Relief Payments from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Over 3,900 restaurants, bars, gyms, and similar businesses across the state were able to receive help, but some businesses may have fallen through the cracks.
Any eligible business in Eden Prairie that has not received a payment should contact the Department of Revenue through the online inquiry process. The inquiry process closes on Friday, February 5, so be sure to take advantage soon if your business qualifies.
Governor Walz’s Budget Proposal
This week, Governor Walz released his budget proposal for the next two years, the COVID-19 Recovery Budget. Though I’m still reviewing the details and we will be formulating our own proposal in the House, the Governor’s budget takes us in the right direction when it comes to supporting students, working families, and small businesses through this pandemic and after. We’ll have a better idea of Minnesota’s financial situation when the updated budget forecast is released next month, but it’s clear that no matter what, we need to deliver a budget that invests in things Minnesotans need most.