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

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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

 Over the past few weeks, I have heard from many doctors,  nurses and other impacted professions from our area who have shared their concerns about getting sick while treating patients with COVID-19.


Their points are completely valid. Here are people on the front lines, heroically addressing the needs of those who are fighting this virus, wondering how their families might get by if they contract COVID-19 themselves and can no longer earn a living.


On April 7, the Minnesota Legislature addressed this topic by passing a bill that ensures health care workers and first responders would qualify for workers compensation if they come down with COVID-19.


The bill represents a bipartisan agreement made by legislators from all four House and Senate caucuses, and advocates from labor and business groups. The compromise was approved unanimously in an emergency meeting of the Workers Compensation Advisory Council on April 6. 


Several professions will benefit from the change, including paramedics, home health care workers, police and fire officials, nurses, emergency medical technicians, correctional officers, and daycare providers who are caring for children whose parents are on the front lines.


I'm pleased we were able to take quick action on the bill as our first responders and medical professionals need the help. Going forward, if these workers are sidelined due to COVID-19, they will get the financial assistance they've earned.


We will forever be in the debt of those who have stepped up during this time of crisis to assist our residents who have contracted COVID-19 and their families. My thanks go out to every one of you.