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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Huot (DFL)

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Legislative Update- April 3, 2020

Friday, April 3, 2020
Rep. Huot

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this finds you well and taking care of yourself, as we use this time to stay home as much as possible. Restricting our movements to necessary errands only like picking up prescriptions and groceries will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help protect our first responders and health care workers who are on the front lines of this virus.

Stay At Home Can/Should Not

I want to be clear: this is not an order for quarantine. You can still get outside for fresh air, to take a walk or go on bike ride, just make sure you are practicing a safe six foot physical distance.

Last week, Minnesota lawmakers passed a bipartisan, comprehensive package of bills addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill created a new $200 million COVID-19 Fund in the state treasury to enable state agencies to respond to COVID-19-related challenges. It also included $9 million to the Department of Human Services for food security, $26.5 million for the Emergency Service Grants program to provide shelter for Minnesota’s homeless population, $30 million in one-time grants to child care providers, financial relief for displaced workers, and the necessary flexibility for state agencies to respond to the pandemic. You can access the entire bill here and read a recap from nonpartisan House Public Information Services here.


Small Business Guide for Minnesotans

Several state and federal programs have been created to help small businesses affected by COVID-19. Different programs make sense for different businesses, so the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has posted a guide that details all of the assistance available in one spot. This information can help small businesses determine which programs might work for them. Click here to view the guide.

Unemployment Update

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has been working hard to quickly and effectively process thousands of unemployment insurance applications for folks in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UI Days

To assist in this process, DEED has now designated certain days for Minnesotans who are applying for Unemployment Insurance benefits for the first time based on the last digit of their social security number. With applications coming in at an unmatched pace, this will ensure displaced workers can get faster, more effective services and the benefits they are depending on. To enroll or find more information, visit

Child Care Grant Applications are Open

Governor Walz this week announced that the application process for emergency grants for child care providers impacted by COVID-19 is open. This funding was a part of the comprehensive COVID-19 emergency package of bills we passed last week. There are approximately 420,000 children under the age of 12 who live in a household of an essential worker within a critical sector. Of these, the state estimates that during this peacetime emergency, about 270,000 children will need care and approximately 120,000 are likely to need care from licensed child care settings. Visit this webpage to learn more about grant availability.


Governor Walz’s Remote State of the State Address

Governor Walz will give his annual State of the State address on this Sunday, April 5 at 7:00 p.m. from the Governor's Residence. The address will be streamed live and can be accessed on Facebook, YouTube, or local television stations. 


Distance Learning

As teachers and students wrap up their first week of distance learning, I want to extend a big thank you to our ISD #196 educators, administrators, support staff, and parents for their patience and flexibility adjusting to this new “normal” under extraordinary circumstances. Our kids deserve the best, and I am proud of everyone who is working hard to deliver the resources they need to be successful.

Thank You Educators

Notice of Vacancies in State Boards, Councils and Committees

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State today released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in demonstration of public service.  The full list of 696 vacancies can be found on their website Open Positions.


Keep in Touch

Please reach out to me anytime to let me know if I can be of assistance, or you need help answering questions. I can be reached at 651-296-4306 or by email at

These are tough times, but I’m confident we can get through them together.