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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Leon Lillie (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 18, 2020

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Rep. Lillie

Dear neighbors, 

We’re taking action to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19 and support Minnesotans during these challenging times. Here’s a brief update on where things stand, including actions already taken by the Governor and the Legislature:

School Closings

Over the weekend, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota schools will be temporarily closed so school administrators and teachers can make long-term plans for the continuity of education and essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools decided to close earlier than required, but all schools will be closed today through Friday, March 27. During this time, schools will continue providing meals to students in need, mental health services, and care for elementary-age children of health care professionals, first responders, and other emergency workers to ensure Minnesota’s first line of defense against COVID-19 can stay on the job.

If you live in the Mahtomedi Public School District, click here for information about meals, child care, and other resources for students and their families. If you live in the North St. Paul – Maplewood – Oakdale School District, click here.

If you have any questions, you can visit or call a public hotline dedicated to schools and child care at 651-297-1304. The hotline is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Restaurant and Bar Closures

On Tuesday, Governor Walz ordered the temporary closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars. Restaurants can no longer take dine-in customers, but takeout and delivery are still permitted. Other venues, such as gyms, movie theaters, and community clubs, were ordered to close as well. The Governor is encouraging grocery stores and pharmacies to stay open so Minnesotans can still get the items they need.

Support for Impacted Workers

In an effort to support the many Minnesotans affected by these closures, the Governor signed an Executive Order to strengthen Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and ensure that workers who aren’t able to work have benefits available. If your employment has been impacted by COVID-19, you can learn more about Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) program and apply online at

Additional information is available at A hotline for workers and employers will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The hotline number is 661-259-7114.

Action at the Legislature

On Monday night, we unanimously approved an emergency funding bill that will help hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities prepare for and respond to COVID-19. We’re committed to ensuring Minnesotans can get the care they need. We’ll continue working with the Governor and the Minnesota Senate on legislation that’s needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic and help Minnesotans navigate the challenges its created.

Please continue following the Minnesota Department of Health’s guidelines, which are available here, and take care of yourself and others! Let me know if you have any questions, or if I can ever be of assistance.


Leon Lillie
State Representative