Senate Approves $ 484 Billion Deal to Increase Small Business Lending Program

REUTERS / Tom Brenner

Erica Werner and Seung Min Kim write in the Washington Post: “The Senate on Tuesday passed a $ 484 billion deal to replenish a small business loan program that was overrun by demand and spend more money on hospitals and coronavirus testing. … The legislation … would increase the funding of the Paycheck Protection Program by $ 310 billion. It would also add $ 60 billion to a separate small business emergency aid and loan program, and channel $ 75 billion to hospitals and $ 25 billion to a new coronavirus testing program. The House of Representatives is expected to approve the measure on Thursday.

Ryan Faircloth writes in the Star Tribune: “University of Minnesota students do not need to budget for an increase in tuition fees for the next academic year. For the first time in years, the university will freeze tuition fees for most students across its five locations. The Council of Regency unanimously approved President Joan Gabel’s proposal to freeze tuition fees on Tuesday, which administrators say will provide financial relief for current students and help attract new students during the pandemic.

In the New York Times Michael D. Shear, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Caitlin Dickerson to write: “President Trump said Tuesday he would order a temporary halt to the issuance of green cards to prevent people from immigrating to the United States, but withdrew from plans to suspend guest worker programs after corporate groups exploded with anger over the looming loss of access to foreign labor. … Trump said his order was initially in force for 60 days, but he could extend it “depending on the economic conditions at the time.”

WCCO TV reports: “ Jennie-O / Hormel announced Tuesday evening that some employees at their Willmar turkey processing facility had tested positive for COVID-19. Officials did not disclose the exact number of employees, but said they and everyone they interacted with at the plant are in self-quarantine. Officials added that all sick employees will receive 100% of their salary and benefits while they are recovering.

At MPR, Tim Pugmire reports, “The Minnesota Senate Democrats are urging majority Republicans to take steps to protect the health of voters in this year’s election. They highlighted a proposal on Tuesday that would offer voters new alternatives, including moving some polling stations and temporarily expanding postal voting. The Democrats want ballot papers to be automatically sent to registered voters. … The Republicans oppose the proposed expansion of postal voting. Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, chair of the state’s electoral committee, said the state should instead make greater use of the already legal option of unexcused postal voting. “

This from Reuters, “At least seven people voted during the Wisconsin primary on Jan. Milwaukee health officials said Tuesday, confirming fears that conducting personal polls during the health crisis is putting people at risk. The seven cases involve six voters and an election worker in Milwaukee, the state’s largest city, where nearly 200 polling stations have been reduced to five and there have been long lines to cast ballots, the Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik’s office confirmed.

At Pioneer Press, Bob Shaw writes: “Landesmesse 2020 shows no symptoms – not yet. However, health experts say the effects of the coronavirus could overtake the fair later this year. … So far, Fair officials say the plans are moving forward – for now – as they would in a normal year. Exhibition director Jerry Hammer declined an interview request but issued an email statement: “We have not yet reached a point where we have to make a decision about this year’s exhibition and we are not sure when that will be will be. “

Mike Hughlett of the Star Tribune says, “Four ethanol plants in Minnesota have shut down and many more have cut production as COVID-19 has weakened gasoline demand and crushed the biofuel industry. US ethanol production has hit an all-time low. Almost 30% of the country’s 204 biofuel plants have been shut down since March 1, while many others have cut production. “

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Martin Moylan of MPR says, “At this point, industry observers and stakeholders are saying there is a lot of meat for consumers. Most of the pork and other meat processing plants are still operating and there are significant stocks of meat in stock. “We can still bring the bacon home. You will still have pork in your shop, ”said Jennifer van de Ligt, director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute at the University of Minnesota.

For KSTP-TV, Eric Chaloux says: “A hairdressing and spa trade organization is pitching to convince Minnesota officials that at some point restrictions can be relaxed to allow salons to open during the COVID-19 pandemic. A separate group of multiple salon owners was due to speak to the Minnesota Board of Cosmetology on Tuesday about security changes as they have all been closed due to the coronavirus.

MarketWatch’s Lisa Ianucci says, “To the growing list of disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, add this: the housing market. If you are trying to sell or buy a home, or just think that you might eventually get your home advertised, then you need to reconsider things. … In a survey by the National Association of Realtors from April 5-6, 2020, 90% of members said buyer interest has declined since the coronavirus outbreak. Additionally, 59% said buyers would delay home buying for a few months and 57% said sellers would delay home sales for a few months. Houses that are on the market often just sit there. “

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