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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mohamud Noor (DFL)

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Minnesota House of Representatives passes emergency COVID-19 response investments

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

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Rep. Noor

Neighbors,

Early Tuesday morning, the Minnesota House of Representatives unanimously passed emergency COVID-19 health care funding, which provides $200 million in investments for a health care response fund and Minnesota’s public health response contingency account. Governor Walz has signed the bill into law.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will receive $150 million to make grants to eligible providers for costs related to planning for, preparing for, or responding to an outbreak of COVID-19. The bill also includes an additional $50 million for the public health response contingency account.

We also passed a resolution allowing the legislature to adjourn for more than three days. The House and Senate will meet in floor and committee session on an on-call basis through April 14.

We are also working on solutions to many of the problems COVID-19 is presenting. Legislation has been introduced to place a statewide moratorium on evictions as well as provide emergency housing assistance to thousands of Minnesotans who may face housing instability. We’re also working on measures to ban price gouging, deliver assistance for childcare providers, ensure hourly educators and other school district workers receive compensation, and more.

I am the chief author of HF 4414, which would expand unemployment insurance and sick leave benefits during an outbreak of a communicable disease. The specifics of the bill include:

  • In the case of an outbreak of a communicable disease, a worker can collect Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits without seeking suitable employment, when
    • the worker is quarantined or jeopardizes the health of others by being in the community, or
    • the employer shuts down temporarily because of the outbreak or tells workers not to come in.
  • In the case of an outbreak of a communicable disease, permissible uses of paid sick leave are expanded to include cases where
    • the worker is quarantined or jeopardizes the health of others, or 
    • the employer shuts down or tells workers not to come in because of an outbreak of a communicable disease.

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Minneapolis School District information

Comprehensive information and resources from the Minneapolis School District can be found here.

City of Minneapolis information

The City of Minneapolis has information about its response to the COVID-19 virus. Check here for updates and details

Hennepin County information

Another helpful resource is the Hennepin County website.

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Governor temporarily closes certain public spaces & improves Minnesota’s unemployment insurance

Gov. Walz has ordered the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers. He also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs. Take-out and drive-thru options are still available.

Gov. Walz also strengthened Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to ensure workers who are not able to work, or have reduced hours as a result of COVID-19 have benefits available. The Executive Order will allow the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to pay unemployment benefits immediately, providing fast relief to employees who need it. If your employment has been affected by COVID-19 please visit this site.

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Minnesota Department of Health resources

Additionally, MDH is making information about the coronavirus available in multiple languages. A full list of available languages and links to download materials are available below. 

COVID-19 in Amharic (PDF)

COVID-19 in Arabic (PDF)

COVID-19 in Chinese (PDF)

COVID-19 in Hmong (PDF)

COVID-19 in Karen (PDF)

COVID-19 in Russian (PDF)

COVID-19 in Somali (PDF)

COVID-19 in Spanish (PDF)

COVID-19 in Vietnamese (PDF)  

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MDH has also set up non-English versions of its coronavirus website. A full list of available languages and links to each page is available below. 

Spanish: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/spanish.html 

Somali: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/somali.html 

Hmong: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/hmong.html 

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONAL RESOURCES

QUESTIONS about school and childcare:

Call 651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504 (7am-7pm daily)

Visit www.education.mn.gov 

*Childcare providers with questions should call 1-888-234-1268 

QUESTIONS about health:

651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903 (7am-7pm daily)

Visit www.health.state.mn.us 

QUESTIONS for workers and employers:

651-259-7114 or 800-657-3858 

https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/

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Keeping our Communities Healthy

Please implement and share these recommendations to keep our communities healthy:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth;
  • Stay home when sick;
  • Implement social distancing, keeping 6 feet away from others under most circumstances;
  • Encourage staff to telework when feasible;
  • Cancel or postpone large events in excess of 250 people gathered together;
  • Limit gatherings with participants at high risk for severe disease to less than 10 people.

Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.

Sincerely,

Rep. Mohamud Noor

State Representative

Rep.Mohamud.Noor@house.mn or 651-296-4257