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Walz, House GOP, unveil aid plans for hard-hit businesses

Rick Solem

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FILE - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz, right, listens to Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, during a news conference in St. Paul, Minn., May 27, 2020. (John Autey/Pioneer Press via AP, Pool)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and Minnesota House Republicans on Tuesday unveiled aid proposals targeted at providing relief to small businesses that have been hit hard by the tightening of the state’s restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Walz said his package is aimed at keeping businesses afloat, supporting workers struggling to get by, and helping families keep food on the table. The package includes direct aid to businesses, waiving licensing fees for the hospitality industry, extending unemployment benefits, and $500 one-time emergency payments to struggling families. His statement did not put a price tag on the package.

The House GOP proposal includes direct grants to businesses that would be aimed at providing relief for Main Street establishments impacted by the governor’s latest executive orders. Republican lawmakers propose using $400 million from the state’s rainy day fund, and then repaying it with federal aid if Congress agrees on a relief package.

The governor said he would call a special session when an agreement is final.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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