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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Hunter Cantrell (DFL)

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State of the State

Monday, April 06, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe during these challenging times. I am working hard alongside our community to pass critical legislation that will help us navigate this crisis, and mitigate the harm it is causing to our community and our state. 

Legislature to reconvene Tuesday, March 7th

The Minnesota Legislature is reconvening at noon on Tuesday to pass critical legislation to ensure health care workers and first responders on the front lines of fighting this public health crisis are eligible for workers' compensation in the unfortunate event that they contract COVID-19. We have a duty to take care of those who risk their health and safety to take care of us. I am honored to support this bill, and I am deeply grateful to our first responders and health care workers. Thank you for your service to our state. You can watch the session here

State of the State

Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz delivered his State of the State address from the Governor’s Residence, adhering to the Stay at Home order during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Walz asserted that Minnesota is in a strong position to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. He praised Minnesotans for their efforts in slowing the spread of the disease and called on our continued strength and support for one another.

Governor Walz highlighted some important efforts our state is focusing on to address the impact of this public health crisis: Supporting our first responders and front line healthcare workers who need our support, and who need essential personal protective equipment; lifting up our neighbors and small businesses by providing critical economic relief for Minnesotans who are financially impacted by this crisis; and continuing to stay home unless absolutely necessary because our efforts will continue to save lives in our community.

Minnesota is a special place because we care about each other. We believe in the power of community and lifting up our friends and neighbors when they are struggling. This is a crisis, but this crisis will not defeat us. In the face of adversity, we will rise to the occasion, and we will rebuild for a brighter future in our state. Thank you to all our front line workers, our first responders, our healthcare workers, our grocery store workers, our janitors, and everyone else who is keeping our society running.

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Update on Unemployment Insurance

Here is updated unemployment information after the U.S. Congress passed the CARES Act.

From the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development:

  • The $600 increase to your benefits will be included once you've requested benefit payments for this week (the week of March 29th), and for every week after this week for which you are eligible for benefits.
  • For the 13 week extension of benefits: Just keep requesting weekly benefits, even if the website shows that you have exhausted your benefits. DEED will determine who is eligible.
  • For self-employed and contract workers, DEED hopes to be able to distribute benefits before the end of April. The US Dept. of Labor needs to issue instructions for states before funds can be dispersed. Here is a special step-by-step guide for self-employed and contract workers to apply for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

I understand many people are struggling right now. DEED is adjusting its capacity to assist people encountering problems with their accounts and for people who need to speak to someone on the phone. This is an unprecedented time in terms of the demand for unemployment benefits. I know that everyone at DEED is working hard to be able to address everyone's concerns.

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Keep In Touch

This is a difficult time for our country and our state. Please know that I am here to serve you every step of the way. As Governor Walz said last night, “Minnesota has always risen up by coming together. It was our blood that saved the union at Gettysburg, It was our iron that forged the tanks that liberated Europe, our farmers sparked a green revolution that fed the world, and it was our imagination that transformed medicine, and it appears poised to do so once again. Minnesota, the state of our State is strong, the state of our State is resilient, and the state of our State is united.”

Please contact me anytime with questions, input, or ideas. You can reach me at my Facebook page, by phone at 651-296-4212, or by email at  rep.hunter.cantrell@house.mn. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance!

Sincerely,

Hunter Cantrell

Your Neighbor and State Representative

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