St. Paul, Minn.—State Senator John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) applauds Governor Walz’s Executive Order 20-12 to make sure vulnerable populations are protected during this unprecedented time with the spread of COVID-19. The order mirrors legislation Sen. Hoffman co-authored with Sen. Jim Abeler. That legislation passed out of Health and Human Services and was sent to Finance last week, but it was not part of the final $200 million legislation that passed off the House and Senate floor early Tuesday morning.
Since then, Sen. Hoffman has been advocating that this important legislation be implemented through the Governor’s Executive Order authority. That order was signed today. Specifically, Executive Order 20-12 allows DHS to temporarily issue waivers or modifications to state requirements to ensure that their services can be delivered to Minnesotans safely and without undue delay, protecting vulnerable Minnesotans and those who care for them. DHS provides health care coverage, programs, and services for more than one million Minnesotans, including groups likely to be significantly impacted by COVID-19 such as older adults, individuals who have disabilities, families with children, and individuals with mental illness.
“Ensuring the health and safety of Minnesotans is my highest priority as the state copes with a growing number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, and that includes making sure our most vulnerable—the elderly, those with disabilities, and children—are protected,” Sen. Hoffman said. “I am pleased with our work to make sure Minnesota has a strong support and safety net in place and the necessary regulatory flexibility and relief to make sure that Minnesotans with physical and developmental disabilities are not cut off from vital services.”
The Executive Order recognizes day services and waiver programs, which are important resources for adults with disabilities, providing options for community engagement, employment, vocational training, and offering an array of therapies. “Without this Executive Order, certain licensing rules limit providers’ abilities to respond to this pandemic,” Sen. Hoffman said. “This order will ensure Minnesotans have access to the services they need as we follow the recommended health and safety guidelines.”