ST. PAUL, Minn. – Early Tuesday morning, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislating providing an additional $200 million in funding for Minnesota’s health care system to address the spread of COVID-19.
“We know that COVID-19 will present a major challenge to our health care system, our health care workers, our communities, and our state,” said Senator Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights). “This funding will help to strengthen our health care system’s response to COVID-19 and ensure they have extra resources necessary to keep Minnesotans safe and secure.”
Of the new funding, $150 million of these funds will go to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and a new health care response fund to make sure Minnesota’s health care providers can respond to this virus with more treatment beds, testing sites, and the increase and protection of staff. The remaining $50 million will go towards a contingency account that can be used for costs needed on an emergency basis to prepare and respond to COVID-19 or similar public health emergencies.
Additionally, a resolution was passed allowing the House and Senate to adjourn for more than three days. This was a necessary procedural matter that will allow lawmakers to continue to restructure work in the House and Senate to focus legislative efforts on responding to COVID-19. In the coming weeks, the Legislature will be meeting on an on-call basis, only taking up bills that have the joint support of the House and Senate DFL and GOP.
“Right now, the most important thing each and every one of us can do is to follow the guidelines from the Department of Health, stay home if you’re sick, and practice social distancing,” said Senator Klein. “These will be challenging times for Minnesotans, but we must all do our part to keep our communities healthy.”
The Minnesota Department of Health’s guidelines for community mitigation of the spread of COVID-19 will continue to be updated here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/action.html.