Hello, friends. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of the recent news regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
HF 4537: Workers Compensation
Today, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted to establish workers compensation benefits for first responders during the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill, known as HF 4537, will give benefits to police officers, fire fighters, healthcare workers, childcare workers, and others if they suffer injury due to the contraction of coronavirus in the course of their duties. Additionally, if one of these workers passes away due to coronavirus, this bill will give benefits to the family of that individual.
I voted in favor of HF 4537. I believe we must support the brave men and women who are on the front lines fighting this virus. Many individuals are putting their health and safety on the line during this pandemic. Their dedication and fortitude deserve our support and gratitude.
COVID-19: The Latest Information
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our public health, our economy, and our perseverance. Our state has made amazing sacrifices to stop the spread of the disease. However, many Minnesotans have suffered due to the disease itself and economic problems caused by the disease. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
First, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has adjusted their predicted COVID-19 death toll for Minnesota. Originally, they projected 932 deaths in the next four months. Now, that projection is down to 625.
Furthermore, Governor Walz reported that Minnesota has a confirmed case rate of roughly 17 cases per 100,000 individuals. This is the lowest confirmed case rate of all 50 states.
Obviously, this is a rapidly developing situation. However, I believe figures such as these show that there is hope. In the coming days, Governor Walz has said he will reexamine his “stay-at-home” order. Certain segments of the economy may be allowed to reopen without jeopardizing the public health. I believe we must do everything we can to get this economy moving and remain smart about our public health.
Dairy Farmer Support
Dairy farmers across Minnesota are attempting to deal with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak. With supply chain disruptions and closed schools, Minnesota dairy farmers are having a tough time moving their product and keeping their business going. In Wisconsin, many dairy farmers have already been forced to dump milk due to the economic strife caused by this pandemic.
Minnesota lost 300 dairy farmers last year alone, and the COVID-19 outbreak will only exacerbate the loss of dairy farmers.
Fortunately, dairy farmers are eligible to receive assistance from the state government. The Minnesota Legislature has authorized the use of the Disaster Loan Recovery Program to help farmers impacted by COVID-19. This loan program is administered by the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Specifically, the loans in this program can be used to cover loss of revenue, replacement of farm structures, replacement of livestock, and many other items.
Information for the loan can be found at the following link: https://www.mda.state.mn.us/disasterloan
If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. My email address is Rep.Tim.Miller@house.mn. Additionally, please reach out to my Legislative Assistant, Luke, with any questions. Luke’s email is Luke.Sprinkel@house.mn. Emailing is the fastest way to get in contact with me. Contact me anytime with questions or concerns. God Bless.