A bill has been introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would allow businesses to remain open despite further COVID-19 restrictions.
The bill, which was introduced by Sens. Andrew Mathews, R-Princeton, and Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake, provides that businesses may remain in operation under executive orders as long as they create a COVID-19 safety preparedness plan.
The plan must encompass “site-specific best practices for the business,” including social distancing, cleaning, and sanitation, address capacity, and provide a statement “that the business will meet any testing protocols established and comply with any COVID-19-related workplace safety recommendations” among other requirements.
This bill will “give the power back to individuals instead of one man in St. Paul,” according to a press release from the Senate Republican Caucus.
“We should know that one size fits all policymaking does not work for all communities … If businesses demonstrate they are able to open their doors while considering the safety of customers and staff, why should the government stop them?” Sen. Bruce Anderson, R-Buffalo, said in the press release.
The bill also specifies that “no board or licensing agency may impose any additional penalties for a violation of the governor’s emergency executive orders.”
The Senate Republicans’ press release acknowledges the importance of small businesses in Minnesota, noting that the community has suffered from “loss of livelihood,” and that this bill would “bring the power back where it belongs.”
“I am hopeful that with SF 1, small businesses will be able to open safely and at their own discretion with less control from the government in St. Paul,” Anderson said.