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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nathan Nelson (R)

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Update from Rep. Nelson

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Dear Friends, 

Although adjustments to the legislature’s daily schedule have been made due to COVID-19, I want you to know I will continue working for our community and urge you to keep contacting me with questions or concerns.

The House is still in session, but meetings will only happen on an on-call basis and when needed until at least April 14. This allows legislators to respond to citizens’ needs, while fully complying with Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines including social distancing, limiting large gatherings, telework, and increased cleaning.

I encourage you to use MDH hotlines, including a main line (651-201-3920) and a line for questions related to schools or childcare (651-297-1304). Online resources are also available at the links below to keep you informed:

Local schools (including childcare and food distribution information):

Early Tuesday, legislators unanimously approved almost $200 million in additional funding to combat COVID-19. The bill provides $50 million to the Public Health Response Contingency Account for providers, ambulance services, healthcare clinics, hospitals, and long-term care facilities. It also allocates $150 million to the newly-created Health Care Response Fund for grants to providers for costs necessary for COVID-19 response. 

This situation continues to evolve quickly and change by the hour. On Sunday, Governor Walz announced all Minnesota schools would close. By Monday, he announced the mandatory closure of restaurants, bars, and other public places where crowds congregate. 

The outbreak also creates severe consequences for workers and business owners. The governor issued an executive order to give workers affected by COVID-19 full access to unemployment benefits. This action also eliminates the one week waiting period to help applicants get unemployment benefits right away, and assures business owners won’t have future unemployment tax rates increased because of benefits paid as a result of COVID-19.

If your job is affected, you can apply for unemployment benefits online. Complete information, including eligibility requirements, are available here:

In closing, please remember how this virus impacts your most vulnerable neighbors and continue taking steps to keep yourself and those around you safe and healthy. 

Stay in touch and let me know if there’s any way I can help. You can always reach me at or 651-296-0518.