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The latest on what we’re doing to respond to COVID-19

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

The Legislature continues to work on a bipartisan basis with Governor Walz and the people of Minnesota to address the economic hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here is a brief update about major events that happened over the past week. 

 

House and Senate pass legislation allowing takeout wine and beer

Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed legislation to allow takeout sales of beer and wine from bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bars and restaurants with liquor licenses can sell up to 72 ounces – the equivalent of one six-pack – of beer, cider or hard seltzer and up to 750 milliliters of wine – the equivalent of one bottle – with food orders upon the bill’s enactment. The alcoholic beverages must be sold in their original, unopened containers.

 

Governor Walz expands outdoor recreation opportunities

Governor Walz today issued Executive Order 20-38, which will allow Minnesotans to continue to enjoy the outdoors close to home while following social distancing guidelines. Beginning this weekend, Minnesotans can engage in a range of activities, including golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, and hiking while maintaining 6-foot social distancing, avoiding crowded areas, and staying close to home.

Under Executive Order 20-38, facilities that may reopen or remain open include:


Bait shops for live bait
Outdoor shooting ranges and game farms
Public and private parks and trails
Golf courses and driving ranges
Boating and off-highway vehicle services, including:

Marina services
Dock installation and other lake services
Boat and off-highway vehicle sales and repair, by appointment only




Campgrounds and dispersed camping, outdoor recreational equipment retail stores, recreational equipment rental, charter boats, launches, and guided fishing remain closed. Minnesotans should continue to take part in outdoor activities close to their primary residence. Staying home helps protect Minnesotans from spreading COVID-19 and limits pressure on rural medical facilities and essential supplies. 

 

House and Senate pass fourth COVID-19 relief package

On Tuesday, the Legislature approved a fourth COVID-19 relief package to provide Minnesotans with flexibility, resources, and economic security during this extremely difficult time. This newest legislative package helps Minnesotans execute wills, allows local governments to meet remotely, suspends certain deadlines and expiration dates, expands the use of telemedicine, allows Minnesotans to apply for marriage licenses electronically and more. Click here to learn more about what this could mean for you and your community. 

 

Thirteen-week unemployment insurance extension implemented

We learned this week the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has fully implemented the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which extends unemployment benefits for eligible applicants for an additional 13 weeks. Click here for more information about this program. DEED is still working on federal guidance to provide unemployment insurance for those who are self-employed and independent contractors. 

 

Contact me

My office will continue to be a resource to find answers to your questions and provide updates about the status of this public health crisis. Please reach out if I can be of assistance and consider sharing this email with your neighbor or relatives. If you know of anyone who would appreciate these updates, please let them know they can subscribe to my email list here

House staff are tele-commuting in order to comply with public health guidance, so if you call my office at 1-800-551-5520, please be prepared to leave a voicemail message. You can also send an email to rep.paul.marquart@house.mn. The best place to quickly find accurate and up-to-date information and get help is www.mn.gov/covid19.  

Thank you to everyone for doing your part in fighting the spread of COVID-19. Your sacrifices are helping to keep our health care workers safe and buy time for our hospitals and providers to prepare for the peak of the pandemic here in Minnesota. 

I wish everyone a nice and safe weekend.

 

Sincerely,

Paul Marquart


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