I hope you can join me for another virtual town hall this week! I’m eager to connect with community members and hear questions, feedback, and suggestions. We will have some updates from other local elected officials as well.
The virtual town hall will take place via Zoom on Friday, April 23 at 12pm. If you’d like to participate, you’ll need to download Zoom – a free video meeting app – and then click this meeting link when the event begins. The app will ask you to enter a password. The password for this event is 027126.
Please feel free to email me with any questions that you’d like me to address during the town hall. Priority will be given to questions from constituents, so please include your name and home address with your email.
Takeout Beer and Wine
Last Friday, we passed a bill to allow restaurants to sell wine and beer with takeout orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to this bill, Minnesotans will be able to continue supporting their favorite local restaurants, and it will be easier for restaurants to stay in business, preserve jobs, and serve customers safely. My colleagues and I are committed to finding ways to get our economy up and running without putting Minnesotans’ lives at risk, and this was a good first step. More information about the legislation, which took effect on Sunday, is available here.
Like many Minnesotans, my family has been supporting local restaurants by ordering takeout. If you’re able to support restaurants in our area, you can find a list of places that are open for takeout and delivery here.
Outdoor Recreation During COVID-19
Last Friday, Governor Walz issued an executive order to ensure Minnesotans can continue golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking, and spending time outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, public and private parks and trails, bait shops, outdoor shooting ranges, golf courses and driving ranges, and boating and off-highway vehicle services will remain open. You can read the executive order here.
Please stay close to home, avoid crowded areas, and maintain a six-foot distance from others while spending time outdoors. I’d also like to remind you that you can purchase fishing and hunting licenses and register boats or ATVs online. More information about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s online services is available here.
Statewide Mask Drive
Last week, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan launched a week-long homemade mask drive. They’re encouraging Minnesotans to make homemade masks and deliver them to their local fire department on Saturday, April 25 from 10am to 2pm. Fire departments will deliver the masks to local congregate living facilities. While homemade masks don’t replace personal protective equipment (PPE), they will help limit the spread of the virus. If you’d like to participate, face mask design patterns and instructions can be found here.
Extended Unemployment Benefits
Minnesota was one of the first states in the nation to implement the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides a 13-week extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits for eligible workers. If you’ve exhausted or will soon exhaust your unemployment benefits, you can find step-by-step instructions to apply for the extended benefits here or within your online account.
I’ll keep you posted with more information as it becomes available. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, feedback, and suggestions.