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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

On Thursday Governor Walz signed a new executive order to allow businesses in manufacturing, industrial, and office settings that are non-customer facing to reopen.

This order could help as many as 100,000 Minnesotans return to work starting on Monday, April 27. Businesses must create and share a safety plan for keeping employees safe, conduct daily health screenings of employees upon their arrival, and continue teleworking whenever possible.

Click here for more details on the order.

The Department of Labor and Industry will have an optional template plan available to use as a starting point and will be hosting two webinars to discuss this process. More information on the webinars can be found here

While today's news is encouraging for thousands of businesses who have been waiting to safely reopen their doors, I know many are still frustrated and uncertain about the days and weeks ahead, and when they will be able to do the same. I hope that today's announcement is a path forward so we can get our economy moving again and help Minnesotans return to work safely.

We will continue working with the Walz administration to help reopen as many businesses as possible and do it in a way that protects the health and safety of employees and our communities. 

Help for Restaurants

Late last week, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved legislation that temporarily allows bars and restaurants to offer beer, wine, hard seltzer, and cider with take-out orders of food.

At its core, this bill is about jobs and I hope that increased revenue for bars and restaurants will help them keep more local folks employed.

This bill allows local restaurants and bars to convert existing wine and beer inventory into revenue to stay afloat and is a more immediate solution to cash-flow problems while they wait to see if their loan applications are approved. 

I hope that this is the beginning of additional steps we can take to get more Minnesotans back to work.

Resources for Farmers

Farmers have been uniquely harmed by the pandemic and are facing additional hardship as employees at meatpacking plants in the region are seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has created a website that includes important information for farmers. The site covers issues from questions about meat processing to mental health resources to financial support through the RFA. 

The website can be found here: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/covid-19-agriculture

Clarification for Resorts

Below is the guidance we have received from the Governor's office about the status of resorts.

Despite some confusion, resorts were never actually closed under any of the Governor’s Executive Orders. Here is the most up to date and accurate guidance we have:

  • The hotel portions of resorts (including rented cabins) can open as planned and can accept guests.
  • Guests do not have to be members of a critical sector to stay at a resort.
  • Communal amenities may not be open for use.
  • While resorts can accept visitors, the Stay at Home Order continues to discourage unnecessary travel, and the Order asks people to remain close to their homes.
  • Resorts do not have to open if they are not comfortable doing so. 

Maintenance and cleaning staff can begin work now to prepare for the season. The health and safety of employees and guests should remain a priority throughout the season.

We are also working on clarification on campgrounds and RV resorts. I will pass that along when we get additional clarity.

Staying in Touch

Please continue to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at rep.sondra.erickson@house.mn.

Have a good weekend,

Sondra

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