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

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Legislative Update - April 17, 2020

Friday, April 17, 2020

Dear neighbors, 

Thanks to everyone who joined Rep. Peter Fischer, Sen. Chuck Wiger, and I for our first virtual town hall on Monday! If you weren’t able to participate, a video of the event is available here.

Lillie 4.17 (1)

If you have any questions that we didn’t address during the town hall or if you need assistance, please feel free to contact me at or 651-296-1188.

Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act

Thousands of Minnesotans have been forced to ration their insulin because the cost of this lifesaving medication has skyrocketed in the past 10 years. On Tuesday, we passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act – a bill to help people with diabetes get the insulin they need at a price they can afford. I was proud to vote for this legislation.

Alec Smith Insulin Act Graphics - House Passage

The Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act – which is named after a young man who lost his life because he had to ration insulin – ensures that people who can’t afford their insulin and are in urgent need can access a 30-day supply at their pharmacy for a co-pay of $35. It also includes measures to help those who need long-term assistance. More information is available here.

COVID-19 Response Bill

We also approved our fourth COVID-19 response bill. This legislation provides needed flexibility and assistance to Minnesotans. It allows local governments to meet remotely, suspends certain deadlines and expiration dates, expands use of telemedicine, gives the Department of Health authority to set up alternative health care facilities, allows marriage applications to be submitted without the need to appear in person, and more. You can find more details here.

COVID-19 Bill

Takeout Beer and Wine

We’re committed to finding ways to get our economy up and running without putting Minnesotans’ lives at risk. Today, we passed a bill to allow restaurants and bars to sell takeout beer and wine with food orders. This change will help restaurants and bars stay in business and preserve jobs. More information about this bill is available here.

Expanded Recreation Opportunities

This morning, Governor Walz issued an executive order to expand golfing, boating, fishing, hunting, hiking, and other outdoor recreational activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to this order, private parks and trails, golf courses and driving ranges, bait shops, outdoor shooting ranges, and boating and off-highway vehicle services will be able to reopen or remain open. Minnesotans will be able to continue spending time outdoors, but we should all stay close to home, avoid crowded areas, and maintain a six-foot distance from others while doing so. You can read the new executive order here.

Update on Unemployment Benefits

Minnesota was one of the first states in the nation to implement the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides a 13-week extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits for eligible workers. If you’ve exhausted or will soon exhaust your unemployment benefits, you can find step-by-step instructions to apply for the extended benefits here or within your online account.

As a result of federal legislation, Minnesotans who are eligible for unemployment benefits will receive an additional $600 per week. If you’re already receiving these benefits, you’ll automatically receive the additional payment for every week you remain eligible. More information about these $600 payments is available here.

Please take care of yourself and your family. If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please call me at 651-296-1188 or email me at


Leon Lillie
State Representative