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Minnesota Senate approves jobs, agriculture bill



(The Center Square) – The Minnesota Senate passed the Jobs omnibus bill on a 45-21 vote.

Senate File 9 aims to spend $420 million on economic recovery, workforce training, and childcare over two years.

“This bill has one goal in mind: to devote equal efforts and resources to recovery efforts for both small businesses and the people in the workforce,” Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, said in a statement. “Our state has faced one of the most challenging years in recent history, and I’m proud to say this budget focuses on removing barriers to employment and getting people trained today for the jobs of tomorrow.”

Key bill provisions include:

  • Creation of the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program ($80 million) and the Main Street COVID-19 Relief programs ($70 million) to assist hard-hit businesses statewide
  • Expands options for individuals to receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits while receiving workforce training services
  • Expansion of workplace accommodations for pregnant and nursing mothers
  • Make high school students eligible for unemployment insurance benefits
  • $2 million for an emerging entrepreneur program
  • $8.3 million to expand Minnesota’s job skills program
  • $16 million for the Minnesota Job Creation fund
  • $70 million in broadband development

The legislation now heads to the House.

The Senate also approved an agriculture omnibus bill 63-3, which the House already passed. The bill aims to spend $6 million improving biofuel infrastructure and provide farm safety grants and mental health resources. Another nearly $19 million would fund agriculture research, including wild rice and potato breeding, while a few million dollars would aimed to clear livestock producer shortages and improve food processors of meat, poultry, eggs, and more.

Time is ticking. The Legislature must pass a budget by June 30 to avoid a state government shutdown. So far, three omnibus bills have been sent to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk out of 13. 



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