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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Legislative update

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Today we passed legislation on a 130-4 vote modifying the current workers’ compensation regulations to ensure that healthcare and public safety workers are appropriately covered under the program in view of the unique challenges presented as we battle the corona virus pandemic.

The action leaves no doubt that Minnesota is standing squarely behind our healthcare and public safety workers during this emergency. They are under tremendous stress already and do not need to be worried about their financial wellbeing should they contract the virus as they work on the frontlines of this conflict.

The workers compensation program is an insurance program that supplements income and medical benefits for workers injured in the course of their employment. We acted today after listening to concerns from both constituents and the Worker’s Compensation Advisory Council (WCAC) indicating that the current situation presented some unique challenges. The advisory council consists of 12 voting members (six from labor and six representing employers) responsible for resolving worker’s compensation issues and providing recommendations to the legislature on the workers compensation program.

The elements contained in the legislation received unanimous agreement among the members of the advisory council yesterday and were accepted by legislators from all four House and Senate caucuses. The bill contains three primary components:

  • Provides for a presumptive workers’ compensation insurance provision for the state’s first responders, health care workers if they test positive for COVID 19.
  • Identifies the range of healthcare and first responder related workers that fall under the Presumption of Occupational Disease provision.
  • Establishes the effective date for employees who contract COVID 19 as the day following final enactment and sunsets the provision on May 1, 2021.

The Senate passed the bill shortly after we sent it over and it was sent to Gov. Walz for his signature. The legislature and the governor continue to work on the many issues being generated by the corona virus pandemic. We remain on 24-hour call to act on any measures required to effectively combat the current corona virus outbreak and if not recalled earlier, will reconvene on April 14.

Thank you for continuing to adhere to the emergency guidelines in place. We are making progress, but now is not the time become complacent.

Sincerely,

Dale

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