Briefs

Minnesota lawmakers approve expansion of workers’ compensation for front line workers to include COVID-19

BY: - April 7, 2020

Minnesota lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation that will ensure first-responders, health care workers and child care workers are covered by workers’ compensation if they contract COVID-19. The Minnesota House on Tuesday voted 130-4, while the Senate had a unanimous 67-0 vote. Lawmakers — some donning face masks recently recommended by health officials — […]

2021 legislative session: Budget deficit with a dose of redistricting = fun!

BY: - April 7, 2020

State budget officials are warning everyone who will listen that the deep freeze of the Minnesota economy means budget woes are coming. “We are waiting for a tsunami of revenue to not show up,” state economist Laura Kalambokidis warned senators, the Star Tribune reported Tuesday. If the metaphor was awkward, the point was still made. […]

Lawmakers to expand workers’ compensation rules to cover COVID-19 infections

BY: - April 6, 2020

Minnesota lawmakers are poised to re-convene Tuesday to authorize a reworking of workers’ compensation rules to allow first responders and front-line health care workers to file claims if they fall sick with COVID-19 while on the job.  Legislative leaders late on Sunday announced they had reached a deal to bring the bill to the House […]

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey

Minneapolis creates $5 million COVID-19 relief fund available to undocumented residents

BY: - April 3, 2020

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey announced Friday he will use his emergency powers to create a $5 million forgivable loan program to help renters and small businesses affected by the economic fallout from the spread of COVID-19. Unlike federal and state relief packages, families will be eligible for assistance regardless of their immigration or documentation status […]

Minneapolis closes all beaches and pools for the summer

BY: - April 3, 2020

All Minneapolis public beaches and pools will be closed for the entire summer in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Restrooms and drinking fountains will also be closed, but public parks, athletic fields, dog parks and playgrounds will remain open. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board announced the closure Thursday night, saying it […]

apartment building

State lawmakers propose $100M renter bailout as unemployment soars

BY: - April 1, 2020

Rent is due today for the first time since more than 270,000 Minnesotans lost their jobs because of COVID-19, many of them in low-paying restaurant and retail jobs. Unemployment insurance only covers a fraction of people’s previous earnings, which puts the 44% of renters who already pay more than they can afford on housing in […]

Sleep Number stores are ‘essential’; furniture stores are not

BY: - March 31, 2020

Sleep Number stores across Minnesota will remain open during the stay-at-home period aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 even as furniture stores have been forced to close. That’s because the Minneapolis-based mattress seller is not a furniture store, it’s a “sleep store with solutions for improved health and well-being,” according to a spokeswoman for […]

Gazelka criticizes state hotline asking Minnesotans to report violations of stay-home order

BY: - March 31, 2020

Minnesota’s top elected Republican said Tuesday he wants Gov. Tim Walz to take down a COVID-19 hotline, which he said is a way for neighbors to tattle on each other for violating the stay-home order. “Please take this hotline down @GovTimWalz,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said on Twitter. “It’s not necessary […]

construction workers

Construction workers have plenty of PPE, even after donations to health care workers

BY: - March 31, 2020

Minnesota’s director of infectious disease said recently that the biggest challenge for frontline health care workers is a lack of personal protective equipment like face masks and goggles. Some health care workers are now using hand-sewn masks or washing and reusing N95 masks. The construction industry, which relies on much of the same equipment, has […]

At least 100 reporters call into daily COVID-19 phone briefing with Walz, health department

BY: - March 30, 2020

On a good day, a reporter’s chance of being called on during the daily phone-briefing with Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health about COVID-19 is about 1-in-100.  On a busier day, it might be 1 in 200.  A governor’s spokesman acknowledged the shortfalls of the daily call, responding to journalists’ increasing frustration […]

Minneapolis Public Housing Authority

Abdi Warsame wins city council approval to lead housing authority, starts March 31

BY: - March 27, 2020

Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame will take the helm of the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority on March 31, making him the first Somali-American to lead a government agency in Minnesota. Warsame’s appointment was confirmed by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday online during a remote meeting. “I want to offer my congratulations to Council […]

Minnesota House votes 99-4 to advance COVID-19 emergency response package to Senate

BY: - March 26, 2020

The Minnesota House on Thursday approved a $330 million COVID-19 emergency response package, voting 99-4 and advancing the measure to the Senate.  Crafted over the past 10 days of intense negotiations with legislative leaders from both parties, the package creates a $200 million COVID-19 response fund available to Gov. Tim Walz to spend with legislative […]