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

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Rep. Nelson Legislative Update

Friday, May 1, 2020

Good morning,


This week, House Republicans once again voted to allow the legislature to work with the governor on future actions to fight COVID-19 and let businesses safely reopen their doors so people can get back to work. Once again, the plan it was opposed by all Democrats.


House Republicans are in constant contact with employees, employers, agencies, and the governor's office making real efforts to help Minnesota businesses safely reopen their doors. 


Unfortunately, only a small step forward was made this week as Governor Walz allowed currently-shuttered retail businesses to open for curbside purchases. He also extended the stay at home order until May 18.


It's disappointing to me as our Main Street businesses could operate under the same playbook as the large retail stores that are currently open, but the governor remains reluctant to give them that chance.


In addition to businesses, our community colleges are also facing a crisis. This week I spoke to folks at Pine Technical and Community College and learned that it needs to be reopened to allow nursing students to finish their labs so they can actually obtain their nursing certificates and help out on the front lines.


Much like many of our small business owners, the faculty has actually had a plan of how to move things forward since late March, protecting the safety of students and staff so courses can be completed. Yet they wait.


Reopening our state should not be an all or nothing approach. Public health should not and cannot be abandoned in order to allow Minnesotans to get back to work. We are looking at ways to protect everyone from the dangers of COVID-19 while allowing people to earn a living. We have to look at ways to move forward.


In addition to addressing the pandemic, the Legislature has also begun to deal with other issues as session is scheduled to adjourn in less than a month. A capital investment bill is one of the items under consideration, which is also of interest to Pine Technical and Community College as it has a bonding request this year. Expect to also hear more on non-coronavirus related legislation in the weeks ahead.


Be well,