ST. PAUL, Minn. – In response to the growing challenge of the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota, the legislature passed a $331.5 million relief package yesterday providing additional resources for state agencies, workers, businesses, and other entities in the fight against the virus.
“Minnesotans have never before seen so much uncertainty and disruption in their daily life due to the effects of COVID-19, and we must do every thing we can to provide economic stability and security for workers, families, and small business owners,” said Senator Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan). “Today’s legislation is just the latest necessary step to help Minnesotans during this crisis, and there is more work to be done.”
The funding includes grants for childcare providers, emergency service workers, support for food access and housing, assistance for Minnesota’s veterans, and $200 million in flexible funding necessary to address COVID-19 effects. However, additional legislation will be required.
“We’ve done a lot to prepare the state for COVID-19, but it’s clear we have a lot of work left to do as this challenge continues,” said Senator Carlson. “We have to do more to help Minnesotans going without a paycheck, to help our frontline emergency service workers, and to help our most vulnerable citizens.”
Further legislation will be necessary to address several areas of urgent need. These include securing guaranteed pay for hourly workers who are not receiving a paycheck during the school shutdown, adding COVID-19 to the list of conditions that would make workers compensation available for emergency service personnel, and an increase to the Minnesota Family Investment Program to provide a boost in direct cash payments for working Minnesotans.
The most up to date information on COVID-19 are available at the Minnesota Department of Health website here: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/index.html.