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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL)

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Legislative Update - July 1, 2020

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Rep. Freiberg

Dear Neighbors, 

This week, Minnesota passed over 500,000 total COVID-19 tests. With the ability to conduct over 20,000 tests a day, we’re at the capacity where any Minnesotan that needs a test should be able to access one. You can find the testing locations closest to you here.

500,000 Tests

Assistance for Small Businesses

An early success from last month’s 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. 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. Tomorrow is the last day to apply. You can find more information and apply here


CARES Act Funds for Our Community

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, our local governments have been at the forefront of ensuring our communities have access to the resources they need. Based on guidelines we created in the Minnesota House, Governor Walz announced that $841 million in federal dollars from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will be delivered to Minnesota’s counties and cities. Under this plan, cities in our district will receive the following amounts based on a per capita formula: 

  • Crystal - $1.7 million
  • Golden Valley - $1.6 million
  • New Hope - $1.6 million
  • Robbinsdale - $1.1 million

Once approved by the Legislative Advisory Commission, the Minnesota Department of Revenue will distribute these funds on a rolling basis beginning this week. More information on the Coronavirus Relief Fund for Local Governments is available here


Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research

Next week, I’ll be taking part in a meeting of the Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research Task Force. Made up of legislators, advocates, patients, health care providers, and other stakeholders, the task force will meet on Tuesday, July 7, from 1-3pm to conduct an impact assessment of medical cannabis therapeutic research. We’ll be streaming the meeting live on my State Representative Facebook Page


New Laws

Today, several new laws will go into effect, including the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act. Alec Smith was a young Minnesotan who died because he could not afford the insulin he needed to live. The price of this life-saving medicine has skyrocketed over the years, and Alec’s Law not only guarantees that Minnesotans with diabetes will be able to access an emergency supply of insulin, it also holds insulin manufacturers accountable by paying into this solution. There’s a lot of work left to do to make medication more affordable, and another new law, the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, will help in that effort. 


Stay Connected

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

Please feel free to continue to reach out to me with any questions or comments you have on our work from the June Special Session, or the work that remains. You can contact me at and at (651) 296-4176. (E-mail is preferred). I look forward to hearing from you. 

Stay strong, and wash your hands!


Mike Freiberg

State Representative