Lawmakers Talk Bipartisan Benefit Corporation Bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — State lawmakers have announced a bipartisan bill that would create a new class of corporations in Minnesota.

Republican Sen. Chris Gerlach and Democratic Sen. John Marty introduced the bill at a Tuesday press conference. They say it would allow businesses to organize under a new benefit corporation or “B-Corp” structure and operate somewhere between a corporation and a nonprofit.

Traditional corporations are obligated by law to seek the highest returns for shareholders. Benefit corporations would be freed from this requirement under the bill. This would allow investment in higher salaries, socially responsible resources or community projects.

Gerlach said he appreciated that the bill would let private business address social services now provided by government.

Similar laws exist in seven other states. The bill will be heard in Senate committee Wednesday.

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