Legislative Alert: Walz Announces Learning Plan for Upcoming School Year

Today, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, along with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), announced Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan for the 2020-21 School Year.

School districts and charter schools will begin in one of three models: in-person, distance learning, or a hybrid model. Experts at the Departments of Health and Education will partner with local school districts and charter schools to help determine which learning model they should use to start the school year. The decision-making process centers on the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, staff, and families by using the level of viral activity in the surrounding county and other factors such as the district’s ability to meet mitigation requirements. The learning model decision will be announced by the local school district.

“As a classroom teacher for more than 20 years […]

2020-07-31T16:18:01-05:00Jul 31, 2020|

Legislative Alert: Walz Signs Executive Order on Masking

Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-81, which requires Minnesotans to wear a face covering in indoor businesses and indoor public settings. Researchers have advocated for masking, calling it a simple and effective step to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. To date, 30 states across the country, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico have issued similar mandates.

“COVID-19 has impacted every corner of our state and every aspect of our lives,” said Governor Walz. “But as Minnesotans always do during tough times, we come together and we take care of one another. And right now there’s no better way to demonstrate our Minnesotan values than by wearing a mask. By combatting the spread of COVID-19, masking will help protect our neighbors, keep our businesses open, and get us on track to return to the activities we love.”

“Wearing a mask is one of the best ways we can slow the […]

2020-07-22T16:24:59-05:00Jul 22, 2020|

Absentee Voting for Minnesota’s Primary Election – What You Need to Know

This is the first full week of no-excuse absentee voting for the Minnesota’s primary election, which is scheduled for Tuesday, August 11.

When multiple candidates of the same political party file to run for the same office, a primary election is needed to decide which candidate will appear as the party candidate for that office on the November ballot. For non-partisan races, such as county commissioner, primaries are needed to narrow the choices to two candidates for the November ballot in situations where there are three or more candidates running for a particular office.
While the ballot will contain candidates for both the DFL and Republican primaries, voters must only vote in one party’s primary. If you vote for candidates in both parties’ primaries, your ballot will be rejected.

Due to heightened concern regarding in-person voting due to COVID-19, the state is encouraging Minnesotans to use no-excuse absentee voting for both the primary […]

2020-06-30T15:06:19-05:00Jun 30, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR OUTDOOR DINING, LIMITED OCCUPANCY SALONS

Governor Tim Walz today announced the phases in his Stay Safe Plan, including a cautious, strategic turn of the dial to allow limited outdoor dining at restaurants and bars starting June 1, 2020. The Governor also announced that salons and barbershops will be allowed to open June 1 at 25 percent occupancy to ensure the safety of both the employees and the customers inside. In both industries, customers will be either strongly recommended or required to wear masks, make reservations, and adhere to social distancing requirements to keep themselves, other customers, and employees safe.

“Our restaurants and bars are an integral part of the social fabric of Minnesota, and it has been heartbreaking to see this pandemic wreak havoc on our hospitality industry,” said Governor Walz. “While the virus won’t yet allow for business as usual, let’s do what we do best after winter in Minnesota and […]

2020-05-20T17:05:28-05:00May 20, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ ANNOUNCES NEXT PHASE OF COVID-19 RESPONSE IN MINNESOTA

Today, Governor Tim Walz announced the next phase of the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. Citing progress made to prepare for peak of infection, the Governor announced a measured, cautious turning of the dial toward a new normal. With the Stay Home Executive Order set to expire on May 18, the Governor will replace it with an order continuing to encourage Minnesotans to stay close to home but allowing for gatherings of friends and family of 10 people or less. The Governor will also open retail stores and other main street businesses if they have a social distancing plan and operate at 50 percent occupancy.

“Minnesotans, thank you for your continued sacrifices,” Governor Walz said. “You have saved thousands of lives. You successfully pushed out the peak of this virus and bought our state time to get ready to treat those who fall ill. We know there’s no […]

2020-05-14T13:08:11-05:00May 14, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ ANNOUNCES DISTANCE LEARNING WILL CONTINUE THROUGH END OF SCHOOL YEAR

A day after announcing a statewide strategy for widespread testing, Governor Tim Walz today outlined next steps for the COVID-19 response in Minnesota. The Governor extended distance learning through the end of the school year, announced a plan for up to 100,000 workers to safely return to their jobs, and explained the different factors determining the gradual re-opening of society in Minnesota.

At his press conference today, Governor Walz explained his approach for moving Minnesota forward amid COVID-19. With the health and safety of Minnesotans his top priority, he made clear the Stay Home order remains in effect as we consider ways to gradually loosen restrictions starting with settings most conducive to safe practices.

Given those considerations, Governor Walz announced that distance learning will continue through the rest of the 2019-2020 school calendar year. The state continues to pursue opportunities to expand technology for students, provide guidance for educators on how to […]

2020-05-06T14:31:45-05:00Apr 23, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ EXTENDS STAY HOME ORDER FOR MINNESOTANS

Today, Governor Tim Walz extended the Stay Home Order until May 4.

“What we are doing is working, Minnesota,” said Governor Walz. “We are taking this seriously, and we are staying home. While Minnesota is showing lower rates of infections than our peers across the country, now is not the time to let up or allow that trajectory to change. Updated federal guidance and our own public health experts are showing that if we keep staying home, we will save lives – which is why I made the data-driven decision to extend the Stay Home Order until May 4.”

The Governor’s order to stay home is forecasted to significantly slow the spread of COVID-19, pushing out the peak of the disease and allowing the state to continue key preparations for the pandemic. These preparations include building new hospital capacity and buying ventilators and masks, planning for how to protect those most at […]

2020-05-06T14:27:25-05:00Apr 8, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: LEGISLATURE TO RECONVENE TUESDAY

The Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, April 7. House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), and Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) released the following statement:

“Legislative leaders have agreed to reconvene on Tuesday. We will be taking up legislation to address workers’ compensation claims for our first responders, police officers, firefighters, and health care workers, including home health care workers, who contract COVID-19.”

The language of the workers’ compensation bill can be found here.

2020-05-06T14:24:20-05:00Apr 6, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ DELIVERS STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS

This evening, Governor Tim Walz delivered his second State of the State address.

Speaking to the state via YouTube, the governor discussed the COVID-19 pandemic in broad strokes. Walz began his speech acknowledging that many Minnesotans are out of work, multiple businesses are closed, classrooms are vacant, and houses of worship are empty.

“We’re bracing for a storm of epic proportions. This will be like a winter we have never seen before. There’s no stopping the storm, but we are preparing for it,” said the governor.

Walz highlighted the state’s efforts to build out hospital capacity so that medical professionals and patients have the testing, ventilators, and ICU beds that are needed.

Additionally, the governor noted the ongoing challenge to acquire more personal protective equipment for doctors, nurses, first responders, and other medical professionals as they work on the front line caring for patients.

Walz specifically noted the work of three major Minnesota institutions:

2020-05-06T14:21:09-05:00Apr 5, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ UNVEILS DATA DASHBOARD, OUTLINES STATE’S PRIORITIES IN RESPONDING TO COVID-19

Governor Tim Walz today unveiled a new State of Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard that tracks the virus in Minnesota and provides the latest available data on available ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing. The dashboard will be updated daily and is available here.

“During Minnesota’s Stay Home Order, we’ve worked to collect data, increase the availability of necessary equipment, and develop strategies to address economic and social impacts of COVID-19,” said Governor Walz. “This dashboard will provide Minnesotans with timely, accurate information about the data that informs our decisions on COVID-19 response, recovery, and resources.”

“We’ve been working around the clock during this Stay Home Order to increase hospital capacity and better track the spread of this virus,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “This dashboard will help Minnesotans see the virus’s impact on Minnesota and the data that drives our response to COVID-19.”

During Minnesota’s Stay Home Order, Minnesota’s priorities […]

2020-05-06T14:18:30-05:00Apr 3, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ SIGNS $330 MILLION COVID-19 RESPONSE PACKAGE

Governor Tim Walz today signed a bill to allocate $330 million in COVID-19 aid in Minnesota – bringing the state’s total response to more than $550 million to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill was passed by the legislature on March 26, 2020.

“The swift, bipartisan passage of this bill is One Minnesota in action,” said Governor Walz. “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.”

“I am proud to live in a state that puts aside politics to do what’s right for our people,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan. “By bolstering our food systems, supporting our child care providers, and aiding our tribal nations, veterans, and […]

2020-05-06T14:13:42-05:00Mar 27, 2020|

LEGISLATIVE ALERT: WALZ EXTENDS STAY HOME ORDER UNTIL MAY 18

As the state continues to make progress in preparing for the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tim Walz today extended the Stay Home Order in Minnesota until Monday, May 18. In an effort to get more Minnesotans back safely to work while the order remains in effect, the Governor announced that retail businesses and other non-critical businesses will resume operations with curbside pick-up.

“From building out critical hospital capacity to launching a landmark testing strategy, Minnesota has made meaningful progress in preparing for the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Walz said. “Minnesotans have made this possible by staying home and holding down the rate of infection. But now is not the time for sudden movements. There’s more work to be done, and we need to keep this virus at a simmer, not a boil. Our action today prioritizes the safety of Minnesotans while taking cautious, strategic steps toward getting […]

2020-05-06T14:10:39-05:00Mar 27, 2020|

LEGISLATURE TO RETURN

Legislative Alert: Legislature to Reconvene Thursday

Last night, legislative leadership announced that the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate will reconvene on Thursday to pass legislation to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Legislative leaders have agreed to reconvene on Thursday. We are continuing to work closely with the Walz Administration on urgent COVID-19 matters to protect the health and well-being of Minnesotans. We will publicly release details on specific legislation on the House and Senate websites as soon as we can. As we convene, we will do so in accordance with guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health to keep members, staff, and the public safe,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) and Senate Majority Leader (R-Nisswa) in a joint statement.

The Minnesota House will meet at 12:00 PM tomorrow while the Minnesota Senate will return at 2:00 PM.

2020-05-07T08:27:31-05:00Mar 25, 2020|

SHELTER IN PLACE ORDER

Legislative Alert: Walz Issues Stay at Home Order for Minnesotans

To slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state, Governor Tim Walz today signed Executive Order 20-20 directing Minnesotans to stay at home and limit movements outside of their home beyond essential needs. This order takes effect at 11:59pm on Friday, March 27 and ends at 5:00pm on Friday, April 10.

“We must take bold action to save the lives of Minnesotans,” said Governor Walz. “Having served as a Command Sergeant Major in the Army National Guard, I know the importance of having a plan. While the virus will still be here when this order ends, this action will slow the spread of COVID-19 and give Minnesota time to ready for battle.”

Modeling released today by the Minnesota Department of Health and University of Minnesota predicts that more than 70,000 Minnesotans could die from COVID-19 if we take no action. The […]

2020-05-07T08:28:22-05:00Mar 25, 2020|
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