Minnesota Small Business Sets 2021 Legislative Agenda
Tuesday, January 5th, was Minnesota’s first day of the 2021 legislative session. The state’s leading small business organization, NFIB, or the National Federation of Independent Business, announced its 2021 legislative agenda. Priority issues are:
Revise the governor’s emergency executive order authority: “Small business owners support a Senate bill that requires the legislature to approve any emergency power executive order from the governor after 30 days, or other revisions that are desperately needed to address the pandemic in a more balanced way,” said Mike Hickey, NFIB State Director in Minnesota.
COVID liability protection for small business: NFIB is supporting this important legislation that would shield any small business or other organizations, including local governments, from COVID liability lawsuits if all safety protocols and requirements are followed. NFIB research shows 70% of small businesses are very concerned about liability protections. Small businesses are particularly sensitive to frivolous legal action. Small business owners are doing everything they can to protect their employers and customers. Fighting such a lawsuit could put the viability of the business in danger. “Frivolous lawsuits can be extremely costly to a small business and its owner. The last thing these beleaguered folks need is to fend off a costly frivolous lawsuit. If they are still in business, many may be but one frivolous lawsuit away from closing for good, taking livelihoods and the jobs they create with them,” said Hickey.
Revision to rigid new hire requirements law: NFIB, along with its small business owner members, support a much-needed revision to Minnesota’s 2017 law, which states that every employer require every employee, including part-time and temporary employees who work just a few hours, to complete a new hire form that must be signed by the employee and kept by the employer. “In addition to providing their employees a written notice that includes a host of things such as rate of pay, vacation, benefits, and pay deduction, that notice must also include the name, address and phone number of the employer. This rigid new requirement is not realistic and there will be significant noncompliance,” said Hickey.
No taxation of PPP loans: NFIB will give strong support to a measure that clarifies that forgivable PPP loans, which were intended to help small businesses survive the pandemic, are not taxable on Minnesota income taxes. This provision was in the 2020 Senate tax bill.
NFIB will also be active on many other issues. The first policy committee deadline is expected to occur in March.