Today, the Senate convened at 11:00 AM to pass three bills and confirm a member of Governor Walz’s cabinet.
- Senate File 4489, authored by Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), allows restaurants and bars which hold on-sale liquor licenses to make off-sales of beer, hard seltzer, cider, and wine in limited quantities with a prepared food take-out order. This would only be permitted during the time that the governor’s executive order closing bar and restaurants to dine-in customers is in effect. This bill passed 65-2.
- Senate File 3125, authored by Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), provides coverage for routine patient costs from a clinical trial if the Medical Assistance program would provide coverage for the same routine patient costs. The bill passed 67-0.
- Senate File 2184, authored by Senator Jeff Howe (R-Rockville), allows telemedicine evaluations to be used to prescribe medications for men with physical dysfunction. The bill passed 63-3.
- Also, the Senate confirmed Office of Higher Education Commissioner Dennis Olson by a voice vote. While commissioners and top officials of the state’s various departments are appointed by the governor, they are subject to confirmation by the Senate. Once appointed, a commissioner can serve without any action by the Senate, but he or she cannot serve any longer if the Senate has voted to refuse to consent to his or her appointment. If a cabinet official is confirmed, he or she can serve to the end of the governor’s term (at the pleasure of the governor).
The Senate is schedule to return on Monday, April 20 at 11:00 AM. Meanwhile, the House is scheduled to meet tomorrow at 12:00 PM.
Midwest Governors Announce Partnership to Reopen Regional Economy
- Today, Governors Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), Eric Holcomb (IN), and Andy Beshear (KY) announced that they will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region.
- The governors said, “We are doing everything we can to protect the people of our states and slow the spread of COVID-19, and we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region. Here in the Midwest, we are bound by our commitment to our people and the community. We recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet.
- “Today, we are announcing that Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky will work in close coordination to reopen our economies in a way that prioritizes our workers’ health. We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protect families from the spread of COVID-19.
- “Our number one priority when analyzing when best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens. We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education.
- “We will closely examine at least these four factors when determining when best to reopen our economy:
- Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations.
- Enhanced ability to test and trace.
- Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence.
- And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.
- “Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region. This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together.”
Walz Daily Press Briefing
Due to a conference call with other governors and President Trump, Governor Walz was unable to participate in a daily press briefing today.
Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
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