The legislature met today and passed two bills both which I supported. This includes H.F. 3100 the “Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act.” The bill addresses both short-term emergency situations and provides for a long-term patient assistance program.
We also passed legislation providing additional flexibility for citizens and state agencies operating under the current very difficult circumstances. That included additional financial options for struggling farmers, waiving restrictions the number of hospital beds allowed to accommodate newly created facilities, allowing out-of-state CDL licenses to continue to be valid while in-person DMV appointments are restricted and providing direction on how federal CARES Act funding is spent.
I, as many of you, have become increasingly frustrated with the current severe restrictions what kind of work activities are not allowed under the current emergency measures. Over the past several weeks I and many of my colleagues have pressed the administration to be more flexible on allowing work activities that can be done safely to proceed.
Today during a House session, two resolutions were introduced dealing with that issue. One proposed simply terminating all the governor’s emergency orders, with no back-up plan or guidance as to how we would continue to deal with the pandemic. I did not support that proposal.
Minority leader Daudt, on behalf of the House Republicans, introduced a much more measured approach that would have curtained some of the governor’s recent actions. However, critical temporary measures would be left in place to ensure we protect those most vulnerable to the virus and ensure our healthcare system and emergency workers are fully supported. It would have allowed for easing work restrictions that can be done safely, rather than what many consider arbitrary decisions as to what is essential or nonessential work.
I supported that approach, but was disappointed the measure did not receive the requisite two-thirds vote to suspend the rules and allow taking it up for serious debate and passage.
On a more pleasant note, I was pleased to see that the administration has decided to allow lake services such as installing boat docks and lifts and delivery of boats that are currently in storage to move forward.
The legislature is scheduled to reconvene at noon this Friday. Keep strong, we will get through this challenge.