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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Baker (R)

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News from Dave

Friday, April 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

Today, Jennie-O Turkey Store announced that, out of an abundance of caution, they were temporarily pausing operations at their Willmar plants to protect workers and the broader community from COVID-19.

I fully support Jennie-O Turkey Stores’s decision to pause operations and believe it is the right thing to do for our community. For many years, they have been an integral part of our community and have done so much to support Willmar and the surrounding area.

Please continue to support Jennie-O Turkey Store during this difficult time and join me in wishing them nothing but the best and a speedy re-opening.

Governor Issues Additional Executive Orders

We got some good news yesterday as Governor Walz issued an executive order that could return as many as 100,000 Minnesotans to work as early as this Monday.

Executive Order 20-40 allows non-customer facing industrial, manufacturing, and office-based businesses to reopen on Monday if they have safety plans in place. I am encouraged by this news and I hope it will lead to even more of our businesses being allowed to open up as soon as they can do so safely.

DEED also noted it is continuing to listen to feedback from businesses and workers about how to implement social distancing practices in their workplaces – and if you have ideas, submit them here.

For more information, visit 

Governor Walz also announced that distance learning will continue through the end of the school year—meaning that classes will not be meeting in person for the remainder of the year.

This decision is being made for the health and safety of students and staff. My heart goes out to all of our graduating seniors who are missing out on a handful of year-end events to close out their high school careers.

Resources for Self-Employed Workers

On Friday, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced that the agency has started making Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to self-employed people, independent contractors, and other eligible recipients who are not eligible for regular unemployment benefits.

Additional information, including answers to many commonly asked questions, can be found here: COVID-19 information for self-employed people and independent contractors.

Please continue to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have. I’m so proud of the way our community has pulled together, we will get through this!

Have a great weekend,