As a Minnesota State Legislator, part of my job is to make sure that my constituents are properly prepared for unexpected situations. As such, before we recessed, the Minnesota Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a $200 million dollar appropriation package to Minnesota hospitals. This funding helps ensure that our state’s hospitals will have the equipment, supplies, and other resources necessary, should they be pushed hard by this virus.
We must also be mindful of the economic impact this crisis is having on our state. One of the outcomes of the actions that the governor has taken, is that thousands of people have been furloughed or laid off from work at restaurants, bars, and other businesses.
To address the needs of workers, Governor Walz has signed an executive order which extends unemployment benefits to those affected by this economic downturn. We need to make sure that Minnesotans can pay their bills during these unprecedented times.
Specifically, the earliest an individual will receive their unemployment benefits is during the third week after establishing their benefit account. This is done because benefits are always requested for a past week, and processing this information takes time. Essentially, individuals must request an unemployment benefit payment for each week they are unemployed. This means submitting a new request every week until you are employed. The payments are calculated by a formula which includes the individual’s weekly work hours, whether they have other income, whether they pay child support, or if they are a student, etc. As such, every person’s payment will be unique to their situation.
Here is a link to the Minnesota government website with more information regarding unemployment benefits for workers: https://www.uimn.org/applicants/needtoknow/news-updates/covid-19.jsp
Just today, Governor Walz issued a series of new executive orders. Among them, the Governor signed executive orders which prohibit evictions and foreclosures due to COVID-19, extend the tax deadline to July 15th to be in-line with the extended federal tax deadline, and establishes a new loan program for independent contractors.
Lastly, I'm including a link to various government entities who are handling different areas of the crisis. We will be continually updating it with new links as we gather them together: COVID-19 Resources