COVID-19

Legislature racing to pass hospital funding bill in response to COVID-19; operations curtailed

BY: - March 16, 2020

The Minnesota Legislature is racing to pass a hospital funding bill on Monday to address the rising need for healthcare services amid a widening COVID-19 epidemic.  State health officials have announced an overnight uptick of 19 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state, for a total of 54. The development comes just a day after […]

homeless shelter

Shelters are defenseless against the spread of COVID-19

BY: - March 16, 2020

At 7 o’clock on a recent evening, people began filing into the basement of a church in northeast Minneapolis for a free dinner of lasagna, green beans and corn. Staff from the church had cleaned all the surfaces with disinfectant wipes and placed bottles of hand sanitizer on each of the round folding tables. Those […]

COMMENTARY

COVID-19: Washing our hands is not enough. We need the right policies.

BY: - March 15, 2020

“It will go away. Just stay calm. Be calm. It’s really working out. A lot of good things are going to happen.” President Trump, Associated Press, 3/10/2020 These are some of the not-so-reassuring comments from our president about COVID-19. Other Trump comments have contradicted infectious disease and public health experts. In a time that calls […]

Gov. Walz orders schools temporarily closed to curb COVID-19 outbreak

BY: - March 15, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Sunday took his most drastic action yet to contain the spread of COVID-19, ordering the temporary closure of Minnesota public schools starting Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, March 27. Walz says school districts should use the time to plan a transition to distance learning for the foreseeable future. “We cannot […]

Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN)

U.S. House passes coronavirus response bill; 40 Republicans dissent, including Emmer

BY: - March 14, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House early Saturday morning approved an emergency stimulus package to combat the coronavirus pandemic after President Donald Trump signaled his support for the bill. The multi-billion dollar package aims to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, and mitigate its economic effects as fears of recession […]

walz emergency

Gov. Tim Walz declares state of peacetime emergency as number of COVID-19 cases grows

BY: - March 13, 2020

Gov. Tim Walz and state health officials on Friday issued a “peacetime emergency” declaration in response to the widening COVID-19 outbreak, issuing recommendations that call for curtailing large gatherings with more than 250 people. The number of confirmed cases in the state is now 14. Walz sought to project calm, explaining that the emergency declaration […]

What are the governor’s emergency powers? Can he really tell us not to gather?

BY: - March 12, 2020

This post has been updated.  Minnesota may soon be entering slippery constitutional ground if and when Gov. Tim Walz follows the lead of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and forbids large gatherings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus. If Walz declares a peacetime emergency, as he is expected […]

Walz unveils scaled-down supplemental budget request amid COVID-19 worries

BY: - March 12, 2020

DFL Gov. Tim Walz on Thursday unveiled a slender supplemental budget proposal that would leave unspent $1.2 billion amid growing worry about the impact of COVID-19 on the U.S. and global economy. “What we’re seeing both globally and we’re seeing in other states, I think that probably has tempered expectations to do our No. 1 […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Is the world ending?

BY: - March 12, 2020

Good morning.  Busy day at Reformer HQ.  Scoop: Max Nesterak has tracked at least eight lawsuits around the country in which Target managers say they do the jobs of frontline workers but don’t get the overtime they deserve for it. The two most recent say they are holding out for class action status, which could […]

COMMENTARY

Daily Reformer: Cancellation of large events in Washington. Coming here?

BY: - March 11, 2020

Good morning! Wow a lot of bills being heard in committee rooms on the Capitol campus today. Capitol readers: Who can tell me which ones matter? [email protected] Extra points for the ones that seem like they don’t matter, but actually matter. No Mariners games in Seattle for now Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington will order […]

COMMENTARY

The virus lays bare a broken political and economic system

BY: - March 11, 2020

The Minnesota Senate’s Republican leader stumbled into the truth this week, like a blindfolded man who hits his head on a fire alarm. When Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-E. Gull Lake, was asked about potential help for workers affected by the coronavirus, he told the Star Tribune, “What do we do when people are sick with […]

Minnesota COVID-19 cases grow to 5 as state ramps up efforts to curb outbreak

BY: - March 11, 2020

Minnesota health officials on Wednesday said they will begin moving toward “community mitigation” efforts following the confirmation of two additional COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to five confirmed cases.  Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Department of Health infectious disease division, said the state on Tuesday tested samples from 100 patients, including […]