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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL)

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"Stay at Home" Order Extended to May 18

Friday, May 1, 2020

Rep. Nelson


Yesterday’s extension of the “Stay at Home” order to May 18 is a tough pill to swallow, but it remains necessary. Minnesota is leading the nation in combatting COVID-19, and the efforts of our community to slow the spread of the virus has bought us precious time, and with that time we’ve seen breakthroughs in testing, and a substantial amount of PPE and resources have been delivered to our hospitals. It can be hard to see from the isolation of our homes, but the work we continue to do is saving lives. 

The announcement also came with the news that retail businesses will be able to operate in a limited capacity with curbside pick-up and delivery. It’s incredibly important that as we extend the “Stay at Home” order, we also work to allow businesses to operate in ways that prioritizes public health during this crisis. This will take time, but more Minnesotans will be able to get back to work. You can watch yesterday’s COVID-19 briefing here.

Extended Order

Unemployment Insurance for Self-Employed Minnesotans

DEED has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments for self-employed, contract, and other workers. The program was enacted under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

Here’s what you need to know when applying for PUA payments:

  • If you have already applied for regular unemployment benefits, you do not need to do anything extra to qualify for PUA. DEED will automatically establish a PUA benefit account for you if you are eligible.
  • If you have not applied for unemployment benefits yet, special instructions for self-employed and 1099 workers are available here. These instructions include steps you can take to make your account easily identifiable as potentially eligible for PUA.
    • If you applied for unemployment benefits without following those instructions, don’t worry – you don’t need to change anything. Your account will still be reviewed for PUA eligibility.
  • You will receive information about PUA benefits in your online account, by email, and by postal mail.
  • Applicants who receive PUA benefits will also receive the $600/week additional payment authorized by the CARES Act.
  • PUA benefits will be backdated to whenever you first became eligible due to COVID-19.

Additional information, including answers to many commonly asked questions, can be found here: COVID-19 information for self-employed people and independent contractors.


Taking Action to Ensure Economic Security for all Minnesotans

My colleagues and I in the Minnesota House outlined our COVID-19 economic security agenda this week, with a special focus on the Minnesotans who are keeping the state running.

House Economic Agenda

There are only a few weeks remaining for the legislative session, and we intend to spend that time focusing on the following priorities:

  • Keeping Minnesotans safe in their homes with a $100 million investment in housing assistance 
  • Providing economic security for our education professionals by ensuring full pay for our hourly school employees 
  • Providing economic security for the personal care assistants who care for vulnerable Minnesotans through a well-deserved and long-overdue wage increase 
  • Keeping Minnesotans connected by ensuring all Minnesotans have access to the broadband they need to go online 
  • Helping families make ends meet by using available federal funding to boost payments for low-income working Minnesotans in the Minnesota Family Investment Program 

Also be sure to follow the #WhoCaresForUs hash tag today and through the end of session. Legislators, advocates, and organizations will be highlighting the work of Minnesotans who continue to support our state despite facing their own struggles. It’s incredibly important that we have their backs as Minnesota weathers this pandemic. 

Stay Connected

For the latest news and up-to-date information, please visit the state’s COVID-19 Dashboard. The Minnesota House website also has a COVID-19 section with information and links to helpful resources. Please feel free to contact me at (651) 296-3751 or



Rep. Michael V. Nelson