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

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Governor's Plan to Safely Reopen Businesses

Friday, April 24, 2020

Rep. Huot


Dear Neighbors,

This week had good news and positive developments for Minnesotans during these challenging times of COVID-19.

Here’s the latest news from the Capitol (currently, remotely from my home in Rosemount):


Testing Breakthrough

The Governor, Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota, and Hennepin Healthcare announced a new testing strategy this week that will increase our capacity to test up to 20,000 Minnesotans a day. Minnesotans can find a testing location on the new COVID-19 website here. Rapid, widespread testing will help us build a better picture of how COVID-19 is impacting our state. This is a vital step towards better controlling the virus and safely reopening our economy. You can read more about it here.


testing breakthrough


Distance Learning to Continue

The Governor also announced that distance learning will remain in place for the rest of the school year. These are difficult times, but we are thankful that Governor Walz’s top priority is the safety of all Minnesotans. A big shout out to the District 196 teachers and families for their dedication to our students’ success.

Getting Minnesotans Safely Back to Work

This week, Governor Walz announced a new executive order that takes a limited first step in the process of safely returning to work, beginning only with workers at non-Critical Sector industrial, manufacturing and office-based businesses that are non-customer facing. The executive order requires businesses to create and share a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan with employees, engages in health screenings of employees daily, and continuing to use telework when possible. This executive order will allow approximately 20,000 businesses and roughly 80,000 – 100,000 workers to go back to work beginning on Monday, April 27.  This figure represents roughly 20% of the workers currently unable to work under the Governor’s orders.

Governor Walz also shared a dial framework which takes into consideration several health, economic, and social factors – and applies them to a variety of settings that have varying levels of predictability and size considerations.  The framework shows how the Governor anticipates the process of reopening Minnesota will work.

Adjusting the Dials

PUA Program Payments Begin

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development announced today that the agency has begun making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to people who are self-employed, independent contractors, and other eligible recipients who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits. PUA is a new program that was authorized by Congress in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and signed into law on March 27, 2020. Click here to learn more about applying for PUA.


Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime with input or questions. I appreciate hearing from you! Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can provide assistance at

It’s an honor to serve our communities at the legislature.

Enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures this weekend- and be safe and well.