Saturday, March 28, Gov. Tim Walz signed a comprehensive COVID-19 package allocating $330 million in aid for Minnesota's response, which is intended to aid vulnerable Minnesotans in the face of an unprecedented crisis.
The Legislature passed the bill with broad bipartisan support March 26.
“The swift, bipartisan passage of this bill is One Minnesota in action,” Walz stated in a news release. “Legislators put aside politics to fight the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of Minnesotans. We’re only in the early stages of Minnesota’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic – but this law will help ensure we have the right supports in place to prepare for what’s to come.”
H.F. 4531 includes the following actions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, among many other policy proposals that will help Minnesotans:
Establishes the COVID-19 Minnesota Fund to support further action,
Creates peacetime emergency child care grants,
Provides COVID-19 assistance for veterans,
Supports food shelves and food banks,
Expands resources for emergency services and homeless shelters,
Expands support available to small businesses,
Extends disaster assistance for farmers to include losses due to COVID-19.
A rundown of previous actions by Walz
March 27: Walz signed Executive Order 20-24 providing emergency relief from regulations to motor carriers and drivers operating in Minnesota.
March 27: Walz signed Executive Order 20-23 authorizing Minnesota health-related licensing boards to modify requirements during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
March 27: Walz signed Executive Order 20-22 allowing the state auditor to work with local governments to adjust reporting deadlines for various financial reports.
March 27: Walz signed Executive Order 20-21 amending Executive Order 20-07 to allow constitutional officers to implement leave for both classified and unclassified employees and to reassign and redeploy staff as needed.
March 25: Walz signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home.
March 25: Walz signed Executive Order 20-19 authorizing and directing the commissioner of education to implement a distance learning period and continue to provide a safe learning environment for Minnesota’s students.
March 25: Walz signed Executive Order 20-18 continuing the closure of bars, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation.
March 23: Walz signed Executive Order 20-17 clarifying application of Executive Order 20-09 to veterinary surgeries and procedures.
March 23: Walz signed Executive Order 20-16 directing non-hospital entities to inventory and preserve vital medical equipment during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
March 23: Walz signed Executive Order 20-15 providing immediate relief to small businesses during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
March 23: Walz signed Executive Order 20-14 suspending evictions and writs of recovery during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency.
March 21: Walz signed Executive Order 20-13 authorizing National Guard assistance to COVID-19 Response, beginning with transportation and logistics in stockpiling personal protective equipment for health care workers.
March 20: Walz signed Executive Order 20-12 preserving access to human services programs.
March 20: Walz signed Executive Order 20-11 securing Federal authority to continue human services programs.
March 20: Walz signed Executive Order 20-10 combatting price gouging.
March 19: Walz signed Executive Order 20-09 to delay elective surgeries and procedures in order to conserve health care resources and reduce contact between patients and providers.
March 18: Walz took action to support businesses affected by COVID-19 by announcing a 30-day Sales and Use Tax grace period for businesses identified in Executive Order 20-04.
March 18: Walz signed Executive Order 20-08 clarifying the types of businesses and places of public accommodation subject to closure per Executive Order 20-04. The executive order clarifies that the closure order applies to salons, barbershops, and other similar establishments.
March 17: Walz signed Executive Order 20-07 providing paid leave for state employees who are not able to work for reasons related to COVID-19 and suspended the waiting period for insurance coverage for new employees.
March 17: Walz signed Executive Order 20-06 to exempt vehicles and drivers providing direct assistance for emergency relief efforts in response to COVID-19 from certain regulations including provisions on weight and hours of service.
March 17: Walz signed Ch. 70 S.F. 4334 into law, allocating $200 million toward an emergency and long-term grant program to respond to the needs of health care and long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 16: Walz signed Executive Order 20-05 to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that workers who are not able to work as a result of COVID-19 have benefits available. Specifically, this executive order waives the employer surcharge and allows the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to pay unemployment benefits immediately, providing fast relief to employees who need it.
March 16: Walz signed Executive Order 20-04 to order the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars to dine-in customers. He also ordered the temporary closure of other places of public accommodation and amusement, including theaters, museums, fitness centers, and community clubs.
March 16: Walz signed Executive Order 20-03 to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota’s Veterans Homes. This executive order allows Veterans Homes to protect residents and staff by temporarily restricting visitors, reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread among residents.
March 15: Walz signed Executive Order 20-02 authorizing the temporary closure of Minnesota K-12 public schools to students in order for school administrators and teachers to make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
March 13: Walz signed Executive Order 20-01 declaring a peacetime emergency in Minnesota and unveiled legislative proposals to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic.
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