ST. PAUL, Minn. – In response to the growing challenge of the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota, a $331.5 million legislative package was passed today providing additional resources for state agencies, workers, businesses, and other entities in the fight against the virus.
“COVID-19 has caused unprecedented disruption and uncertainty for the lives of each and every Minnesotan in our state, and we must do everything in our power to provide economic security and stability during this crisis,” said Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth). “We know that there is more work to be done to address urgent needs and concerns in our community, and that today’s package is not the final piece of legislation we will need to pass. However, it will provide immediate help for many Minnesotans.”
Senator Simonson played a key role in crafting today’s legislation. He was the Senate DFL lead on securing $9 million to help Minnesota’s Food Shelf Programs and in the adoption of COVID-19 related leave policies. However, the package passed today does not include presumptive worker’s compensation protection for frontline emergency service and healthcare workers. Senator Simonson vowed to get these added in future legislation.
“Our frontline emergency service and health care workers are doing everything they can to keep us safe, often without the necessary personal protective equipment, and yet this process has failed to support them when they need it,” said Senator Simonson. “It is vital that they have access to workers compensation for the time they may be quarantined after potential exposure, and the legislature should move quickly to get this done.”