I’m pleased to report that the Legislature approved a new package of economic aid for small businesses, workers, childcare providers, and other Minnesotans who are experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During negotiations with the Senate, the House sought more robust economic security for hourly school workers and first responders. We also worked hard to push for more robust investments to help Minnesotans experiencing housing instability. I am disappointed that Senate leaders would not allow an agreement with benefits for these individuals to move forward. We can do more, and we’ll need Minnesotans to put pressure on their elected officials and ask them to do the right thing.
This is the first step in what will need to be a long-term, comprehensive plan to help Minnesotans navigate and recover from this unprecedented public health crisis. The federal government is on the cusp of approving a sweeping economic stimulus, and we will soon learn what it could mean for Minnesota. Stay tuned for an update on that in my next email.
My office is a resource that is available to help you navigate public agencies that are providing financial support. House staff are tele-commuting in order to comply with public health guidelines, so if you call my office at 651-296-4192 please be prepared to leave a voicemail message and include your full contact information. You can also send an email to email@example.com. As I receive a high volume of emails and calls, I am prioritizing the needs of constituents in our area.
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Updates from the Legislature
As a result of yesterday’s legislative action, resources for Minnesotans impacted by COVID-19 are being provided in the following way:
- Funding for small business loans, including restaurants and bars.
- One-time grants for child care providers.
- Financial assistance for food banks, food shelves, and related transportation costs.
- Investments in secure, safe housing for senior citizens, people with disabilities, and Minnesotans experiencing homelessness.
Click here to download a copy of the entire bill. Click here to download a summary of the bill produced by the nonpartisan House Research Department, which includes specific appropriation amounts.
On March 9, the Legislature unanimously approved a $21 million emergency appropriation for public health officials to address COVID-19. On March 17, the Legislature unanimously approved a $200 million emergency appropriation to provide funding for hospitals, clinics, and health care providers.
The Legislature is expected to take additional actions in the weeks and months ahead while adhering to public health guidelines.
Updates from the Governor
To slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59pm on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, April 10.
Visit https://www.mn.gov/stayhomemn for information and answers to your questions.
Here is what you need to know:
Minnesotans may leave their residences only to perform any of the following activities, and while doing so, they should practice social distancing:
- Health and safety activities, such as obtaining emergency services or medical supplies
- Outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running, biking, hunting, or fishing
- Necessary Supplies and Services, such as getting groceries, gasoline, or carry-out
- Essential and interstate travel, such as returning to a home from outside this state
- Care of others, such as caring for a family member, friend, or pet in another household
- Displacement, such as moving between emergency shelters if you are without a home
- Relocation to ensure safety, such as relocating to a different location if your home has been unsafe due to domestic violence, sanitation, or essential operations reasons
- Tribal activities and lands, such as activities by members within the boundaries of their tribal reservation
Workers who work in critical sectors during this time are exempt from the stay at home order. These exemptions are based on federal guidance from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with some Minnesota-specific additions. This includes, but is not limited to, jobs in:
- Healthcare and public health;
- Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders;
- Emergency shelters, congregate living facilities, drop-in centers;
- Child care;
- Food and agriculture;
- News media;
- Water and wastewater;
- Critical manufacturing
The Governor also today issued executive orders extending the closure of bars, restaurants, and other public accommodations set forth in Executive Orders 20-04 and 20-08 until May 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm and authorizing the Commissioner of Education to implement a Distance Learning Period for Minnesota’s students beginning on March 30 through May 4, 2020.