Minnesota Legislature OKs virus aid for businesses, workers

The Minnesota Legislature has voted to pass a package of coronavirus relief measures aimed at businesses and workers who took the biggest hit from a four-week “pause” ordered by Gov. Tim Walz last month.

The Senate voted 62-4 to approve the bill and send it to the House, which was passed it 117-13 late Monday night and sent it to the governor for his signature.

The bill includes a $216 million grant program for businesses such as bars and restaurants, and a 13-week extension on unemployment insurance for jobless workers.

State lawmakers reach agreement on COVID relief bill, 13-week extension of unemployment benefits

"Our small businesses have made enormous sacrifices to their own bottom lines for the good of our state. This is a critical lifeline for those businesses, and for the Minnesotans whose livelihoods depend on them," Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. "This bipartisan bill will provide direct, targeted aid to keep our small businesses afloat, support workers struggling to get by, and help families put food on the table while we work to get the virus under control."

Walz plans to announce Wednesday whether he’ll extend the “pause” past Friday.

Walz now set to announce whether current COVID-19 restrictions will be extended on Wednesday