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

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CARES Act & COVID Testing

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Rep. Nelson


Last week, Governor Walz announced a plan that delivers $841 million in federal dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to Minnesota’s counties and cities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Our local governments have been at the forefront of helping our communities weather this storm, and under this plan Brooklyn Park would receive $6.1 million dollars. 

Another new announcement from the governor’s office was yesterday’s milestone marking over 500,000 COVID-19 tests. Our community continues to do an amazing job of working together to responsibly take on this virus, and the spike in cases across the nation compounds the need for continued public safety guidelines. As restrictions loosen in our state and we spend more time in public, Minnesota’s testing capacity is the best it has ever been. If you are in need of a COVID-19 test, you can find the nearest testing location here.

500,000 Tests

Assistance for Minnesota’s Smallest Businesses

An early success from the June Special Session special session was legislation I supported that would provide assistance to some of the smallest businesses in our community impacted by COVID-19. The bill created a $62.5 million fund with grants of up to $10,000. With a focus on businesses with 50 or fewer employees, these grants will provide Brooklyn Park’s businesses with the assistance they need to weather these difficult times. To be eligible, the business must meet the following requirements:

  1. Have a permanent physical location in Minnesota, 
  2. Be owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota, 
  3. Be in good standing with the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office and the Dept. of Revenue as of March 1, 2020, and 
  4. Demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike previous funds, these grants will be awarded by lottery. Applications are available now through Thursday, July 2. You can find more information and apply here


New Laws Begin Tomorrow

As a new month approaches, several new laws go into effect tomorrow, including the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act and the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act. Finding ways to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible has been and continues to be a top priority for me as your state representative. While I’m glad we made good progress over the last year in this area, there’s more work to do for Minnesotans to ensure they can afford the medication they need.


An Age Friendly Minnesota

The AARP has put out a survey to inform the work of the Governor’s Council on an Age Friendly Minnesota, which is working to drive coordinated action across state agencies and move Minnesota toward being a more livable, age friendly state. The full survey can be taken by individual Minnesota residents, age 45+ through July 3, 2020. You can take the survey here


Stay Connected

Minnesota’s COVID-19 Dashboard remains a great source for accurate, updated information, and the Stay Safe webpage covers the resources available to the public as we work to reopen Minnesota safely.

If you have any questions about our work in the Minnesota House this year, or our goals for the future, please feel free to contact me at (651) 296-3751 or



Rep. Michael V. Nelson