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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Howard (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 23, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020

Rep. Howard

Dear Neighbors, 

Today’s news surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic brought the heavy update of 235 confirmed cases in Minnesota, and the first death as a result of the virus in the state, which occured over the weekend. 

This morning, Governor Walz self-quarantined after coming in contact with COVID-19, and Sen. Klobuchar’s husband has tested positive for the virus. While both Governor Walz and Sen. Klobuchar do not have symptoms, their experiences, and the growing list of stories we hear about daily, emphasize the need to take COVID-19 and the measures to curb the spread seriously. The best thing many of us can do is simply stay home.


For many, the financial burden that comes with the COVID-19 pandemic includes the threat of housing insecurity, which is why part of Governor Walz’s executive orders from today included a suspension of most evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, similar to legislation I introduced last week. Governor Walz’s emergency powers during a state of emergency grant him the ability to enact measures like this, and I’m thankful the governor worked with my colleagues and I to make this possible. 

It is important for renters and landlords to understand that this eviction moratorium does not cancel rent for Minnesotans. That is why we must continue to fight for economic assistance, including statewide rental assistance, so that renters can make rent and landlords can make their mortgage. 

You can read more about today’s executive orders - including additional support for small businesses and efforts to address the equipment shortage our hospitals are facing, here


Useful Resources

If you are an impacted employer or employee, go to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) for resources that can help. 

For education-related news, check the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website.

As always, the Minnesota Department of Health is a trusted source for up to date information. 

For information on the special enrollment period for MNsure, click here.

Minnesota’s small businesses are now eligible to apply for disaster assistance through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for economic injury during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Stay Connected, Stay Kind

This is the time to check in with an email, text or phone call to our neighbors, family and friends who may be elderly, isolated or ill. Since we cannot gather or see each other in person, reaching out can help ensure everyone is safe and will let them know you’re concerned about them at this difficult time. MPR has compiled a useful list of groups who are accepting financial donations to help those most in need. 

Feel free to reach out via phone, (651) 296-7158, or email, I look forward to hearing from you. 


Be kind to one another (from a recommended 6 feet) and wash your hands.


In partnership,

Michael Howard