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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lyndon Carlson, Sr. (DFL)

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Stay at Home Order Extended

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

Staying home has been working to flatten the curve in Minnesota. Thank you all for doing your duty, I know that if we continue to persist we will all be able to make it through this. Here are some important updates you should be aware of. 

Governor Walz Extends Stay at Home Order

Minnesotans have been doing a great job following the social distancing orders. We are leading the country when it comes to flattening the curve. However, we aren’t out of the woods yet, and if we go back to “normal” we would undo everything our sacrifice has won us. That’s why it is important that Governor Walz extended the Stay at Home order until May 4th. What we are doing is working, now we just have to find the strength to keep it up.

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Legislature Passes Workers’ Compensation Bill

We gathered remotely on Tuesday to pass critical legislation to ensure that healthcare workers, first responders, and home health aides are eligible for workers' compensation in the unfortunate event that they contract COVID-19 while serving Minnesotans during this public health crisis. In particular, the legislation provides a presumption that if these workers contract COVID-19, they did so during the course of their employment and are covered by workers’ compensation.

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Which First Responders are Covered by the Bill?

Here is a list of the occupations that are covered by the presumption in the bill:

  • Firefighter,
  • Peace officer,
  • Paramedic,
  • Emergency medical technician (EMT),
  • Health care provider, nurse or assistive employee in a health care, home care or long-term care setting who works with COVID-19 patients,
  • Nurse, health care worker, correctional officer or security counselor at a correctional facility, and
  • Child care providers who are required to provide child care for the children of first responders and health care workers under the governor’s executive orders.

What Must First Responders Show for the Presumption to Apply?

Under the bill, workers in the occupations listed above are presumed to be eligible for workers’ comp if they can show a positive laboratory test for COVID-19, which includes a written copy of the test. If a laboratory test was not available for a particular worker, they could provide a written diagnosis for COVID-19 based on the worker’s symptoms from a licensed physician, licensed physician’s assistant or licensed advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

Update on Unemployment Insurance

Here is updated unemployment information after the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act.

  • The $600 increase to your benefits will be included once you've requested benefit payments for this week (the week of March 29th), and for every week after this week for which you are eligible for benefits.
  • For the 13 week extension of benefits: Just keep requesting weekly benefits, even if the website shows that you have exhausted your benefits. DEED will determine who is eligible.
  • For self-employed and contract workers, DEED hopes to be able to distribute benefits before the end of April. The US Dept. of Labor needs to issue instructions for states before funds can be dispersed. Here is a special step-by-step guide for self-employed and contract workers to apply for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay in Touch

Now more than ever if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. As always, you can reach me at (651) 296-4255 or rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you!

Sincerely,

Lyndon Carlson

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