Saturday, March 28, 2020
On Thursday, my colleagues and I returned to the State Capitol – practicing Minnesota Department of Health physical distancing guidelines – to pass a bipartisan package of bills addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill created a new $200 million COVID-19 Fund in the state treasury to enable state agencies to respond to COVID-19-related challenges. It also included $9 million to the Department of Human Services for food security, $26.5 million for the Emergency Service Grants program to provide shelter for Minnesota’s homeless population, $30 million in one-time grants to child care providers, financial relief for displaced workers, and the necessary flexibility for state agencies to respond to the pandemic. You can access the entire bill here and read a recap from nonpartisan House Public Information Services here. Governor Walz signed the bill into law today at 11:00 a.m.
Minnesota’s two-week Stay at Home order is in effectAs mentioned in my update from earlier this week, the Governor’s Stay at Home Executive Order went into effect March 27 at 11:59 p.m and will go until April 10 at 5:00 p.m. If you shave questions, please visit Governor Walz's new COVID-19 website for graphics, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions.
To ensure critical information about COVID-19 is accessible to all Minnesotans, the Walz-Flanagan Administration partnered with TPT to provide closed captioning and translate PSAs into eight different languages (English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Russian, Amharic, Karen, and Oromo). You can access those videos here.
City of Saint Paul’s Response to COVID-19The City of Saint Paul is working closely with the Walz Administration to ensure the executive action is being implemented at the local city level. For resources and links, current updates, and to subscribe to updates from the city, visit their website here.
I’m especially grateful that Ramsey County has taken the initiative to convert the vacant Boys Totem Town into a temporary homeless shelter during the COVID-19 pandemic. This facility has 140 beds and each person seeking shelter will have their own room, ensuring physical distancing is being practiced. You can read more in the KSTP coverage here.
No Hate in our StateAs reports of discrimination rise, Governor Walz has made clear that Minnesotans across the state will not tolerate discrimination, racism, or disrespect of our Asian-American neighbors now or at any time. If any Minnesotan becomes a victim of a hate crime because of fear around COVID-19, they should contact their local law enforcement. To file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, please visit their website.
Stay in TouchPlease contact me anytime with questions, ideas, or input. Don’t hesitate to let me know how I can assist you and your family.
I am proud and honored to represent you at the state legislature.