March 26, 2020
State Legislature Passes COVID-19 Peacetime Emergency Bill Requested By The Governor

In its first time meeting since March 16, the Minnesota Legislature passed a COVID-19 response bill this afternoon. The Governor is expected to sign the bill yet today.

Below are key points in the bill that may be of interest to retailers:

  • Creation of a $200 million COVID-19 Minnesota Fund for use as directed by Commissioner of Management and Budget with the fund expiring May 11, 2020.
  • Oversight of the COVID-19 Minnesota Fund by a Legislative COVID-19 Response Commission made up of leadership and specific committee chairs.
  • Funding and policy changes to the State unemployment insurance program authorized in Executive Order 20-05 and allowing no-delay access to unemployment benefit, waiver of the five week business owner benefit limit, and stipulation that related claims will not impact an employer's future premiums.
  • Funding and policy to support Executive Order 20-15, making small business loans available to impacted organizations, including $20 million to a special revenue account, and $10 million to the Small Business Loan Guarantee Program for loans made through state economic development partners.
  • Authorization allowing certain local government revolving loan funds to be used for small business relief under Executive Order 20-15.
  • Authorization for the Commissioner of Commerce to delay, investigate and waive licenses during the peacetime emergency declaration.
  • Extending drivers licenses that may have expired during the peacetime emergency declaration, and easing REAL ID requirements.
  • Elimination of opioid prescription refill language passed last year and modification of related fees charged to oxygen supply companies.
  • Authorization of grants to childcare providers serving families of emergency workers.
  • Funding for food shelves and housing.

MnRA thanks the Legislature for this bill and its focus on bridging loans for retailers and relief for Minnesota's workforce.
MnRA's COVID-19 resource page for retailers is live and updated daily at Visit the page for state and federal updates as well as links to resources.

As a reminder, MnRA offers a 30 minute call every Monday where we summarize bills and talk about the week ahead at the Legislature. Join us for those calls when you are able by RSVPing to Savannah Sepic at

* Publication note: Distribution of this issue of Retail At The Capitol has been expanded beyond our normal members-only distribution list given the importance of the updates surrounding COVID-19. If you do not normally get this publication and would like to contact us at .
MnRA's Government Relations Team
MnRA is proud to represent Minnesota's diverse and vital retail industry. Here is your team dedicated to helping you connect with elected officials and telling the story of retail:
Savannah Sepic
Government Relations Manager,
Minnesota Retailers Association
Tom Freeman
Government Relations Consultant,
Faegre Drinker
Bruce Nustad
Minnesota Retailers Association
Minnesota Retailers Association
400 Robert Street North, Suite 1540
St. Paul, MN 55101
Tel. (651) 227-6631
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