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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Huot (DFL)

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Legislative Update- March 11, 2020

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


Rep. Huot


Dear Neighbors,

On Monday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved a coronavirus response bill. Governor Walz signed the bill into law yesterday.

The Minnesota Department of Health has set up a public hotline that will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Call the hotline at 651-201-3920 for answers to your questions. You can also visit for up-to-date and accurate information about what Minnesota is doing to prepare for and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Protecting Minnesotans’ health is a priority that all legislators share, and we’re incredibly fortunate to have a top-notch public health system in Minnesota. I will be in touch with new information as I receive it from our public health officials.

Minnesota House Approves Paid Family and Medical Leave

All Minnesotans should have time to care for themselves or their loved ones. Right now, far too many Minnesotans are forced to choose between taking care of a new baby, a loved one, or themselves when they are ill, or earning a paycheck. Last week the Minnesota House approved legislation to create Paid Family & Medical Leave policies to ensure all workers aren’t forced to choose between their health and a paycheck.

Many of us are lucky enough to have these key benefits – either through collective bargaining or other employee benefit packages – but they aren’t universal. Considering many of those without paid leave work in public-facing positions like food service, it’s a public health issue as well. We’re one of two industrialized countries in the world that doesn’t require paid leave and I was glad to vote in favor of this measure.


Apply for a REAL ID as Soon as Possible

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Minnesotans will not be able to use their standard driver’s license or ID card to board domestic flights or enter certain federal facilities. Instead, Minnesotans will need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID card, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of identification for federal purposes.

If you want to receive a REAL ID prior to this deadline, the Department of Public Safety is urging Minnesotans to submit applications no later than June 15, 2020. To save time and make sure you have everything you need before you visit a driver’s license office, you can pre-apply online at




Legislation to Help our First Responders

I introduced legislation last week that would create an emergency medical services task force charged with making recommendations on how to improve emergency medical services, including ambulance wait times, in Minnesota. The bill is a result in part of the statewide conversations I had over the legislative recess with EMTs and volunteer first responders about recruitment and retention. The bill received it’s first committee hearing yesterday, and I was honored to have Virginia Fire Chief Allen Lewis testify in support.


Today I participated in a press conference to introduce new legislation I’m authoring with Senator Bigham that would ensure privacy for  first responders and law enforcement seeking peer counseling services. The intent of the bill is to reduce the stigma around seeking counseling, and to encourage first responders to attend peer counseling without fear that the information will be used against them. I’ll keep advocating for the bill because our first responders deserve access to the mental health resources they need to continue keeping us safe in their daily work.


Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out with questions and input anytime at 651-296-4306 or at Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can be of assistance to you and your family.

Have a great rest of the week.