The governor’s stay-at-home order was set to expire this Monday, but yesterday he extended it to May 18, while allowing more retail businesses to open with restrictions. The main change is that retail and other non-critical businesses may begin offering curbside pick-up. The governor indicates this will allow up to 30,000 more Minnesotans back to work.
Minnesotans have done a great job of remaining patient throughout this stay-at-home order, but this latest extension may be a step too far for many people in our state. Businesses have been shut down for weeks and some may never come back. Many other workers are barely hanging on, more desperate every day for relief from these restrictions.
Our Main Street businesses have suffered great losses while the major retailers have been able to remain operational. That is a real disservice to the local entrepreneurs who have been planning to safely open their doors and they deserve the same amount of trust as the big-box stores. We just can’t afford to continue this shutdown another two weeks and I am very concerned how many more businesses will be lost for good by then.
House Republicans are in constant contact with employees, employers, agencies, and the governor's office making real efforts to help Minnesota businesses safely reopen their doors. And, all House Republicans voted again earlier this week to allow the legislature to work with the governor on future actions to fight COVID-19 and let businesses safely reopen their doors so people can get back to work. Unfortunately, that proposal once again was blocked by the majority.
While there was news regarding some stay-at-home restrictions, we also were hoping for modifications of the executive order on elective medical procedures. Dozens of House and Senate Republicans sent a letter to Gov. Walz earlier this week, asking him to lift restrictions on health care providers. We apparently will have to wait a little longer for more on that important subject, but here is a way you can provide input:
The Minnesota Department of Health has assembled draft guidance that will help inform the next steps. Draft guidance will be available online through noon Saturday (May 2) to solicit feedback and input before final guidance is issued. The draft guidance and public comment survey can be accessed here.
Action on processing plants
With the closure of multiple meat processing plants in Minnesota and across the Midwest halting production, a number of Republican state lawmakers sent a letter to President Trump urging immediate action to prevent major disruptions to our food supply, farm bankruptcies, job losses, and devastating impacts on rural economies that are already struggling. The president issued an order late Tuesday compelling plants to re-open. Here is more on that.
Until next time, stay healthy, be safe and let me know how I can help.