MN Government Updates 05.11

Walz Signs New Executive Order

Today, Governor Tim Walz signed Executive Order 20-52, allowing students in critical care sectors to attend classes for needed in-person training or testing in order to graduate.

Executive Order 20-52 will fill workforce shortages by accelerating entry into critical sectors for up to 1,000 students that will serve Minnesota’s most vulnerable populations. At Pine Technical and Community College, there are more than 30 students in the Certified Nursing Assistant program who will be able to quickly begin caring for patients at long-term care facilities after taking a final in-person exam to earn their degree. 

The higher education institutions opening instruction to students must have plans in place for proper hygiene and distancing standards before beginning on-site programming. All other instruction will continue through distance learning.

Department of Health Briefing

Today, officials with the Minnesota Department of Health held a conference calls with reports to update the public on state efforts responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commissioner Jan Malcolm, Department of Health

  • Commissioner Malcolm announced the state now has 11,799 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19. This is an increase of 528 since Sunday’s report.
  • The median age of infection for those with COVID-19 is 44 years old.
  • The state has had 591 deaths due to COVID-19. This is an increase of 13 from yesterday’s report. Nine of the 13 residents were residents of long-term care.
  • Currently, 452 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 194 of those in the ICU.
  • Almost 4,700 COVID-19 tests were processed on Sunday.
  • The commissioner also announced that the third version of the Minnesota COVID-19 model will be released this week.

Dr. Ruth Lynfield, State Epidemiologist

  • Dr. Lynfield announced that Minnesota received a small shipment of remdesivir on Saturday.

o   Remdesivir is a treatment option for those with severe COVID-19 infection. Preliminary information shows that it reduces the amount of time for people to recover.

o   It was distributed on Saturday night and Sunday morning to hospitals with severe COVID-19 cases.

  • The state is expected to get another small shipment of remdesivir on Tuesday.

Director Kris Ehresmann, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Prevention, and Control Division

  • Director Ehresmann stated that the state’s goal is to hire 460 COVID-19 case investigators by the end of the week.
  • She reiterated the importance for parents to make sure children get well-child visits. The CDC reported that pediatric vaccine administration has declined since mid-March.
  • With dental offices resuming elective care as of today, dentists are to prioritize individuals based on the capacity of the setting, staffing, and personal protective equipment.

Both Chambers Convene for Floor Sessions

Today, the Minnesota Senate convened to pass six bills:

  • House File 1883, authored in the Senate by Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), extends the deadline for the Walz Administration to allocate resources from the Minnesota COVID-19 Fund from May 11, 2020, until December 31, 2020. The bill passed 62-5.
  • Senate File 3435, authored by Senator Karin Housley (R-St. Mary’s Point), modifies appraisal management company licensure. The bill passed 67-0.
  • Senate File 3251, authored by Senator Mark Johnson (R-East Grand Forks), authorizes manufactured homes that are on nonprofit or cooperative-owned manufactured home parks to be valued as an improvement to real property. The bill passed 67-0.
  • Senate File 3589, authored by Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake), modifies authorized investments for banks and trust companies. The bill passed 67-0.
  • Senate File 4511, authored by Senator Andrew Matthews (R-Princeton), authorizes the reopening of businesses for safe operation during the COVID-19 pandemic if certain safety guidance is followed. The bill passed 39-28.
  • Senate File 3443, authored by Senator Rich Draheim (R-Madison Lake), modifies the definition of modular home and changes the assessment provision for the Manufactured Home Relocation Trust Fund. The bill passed 67-0.

The Senate will return for a floor session at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Minnesota House also convened to pass two bills.

  • House File 2768, authored by Representative Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul), ratifies labor agreements and compensation plans. The bill passed 74-60.
  • House File 4502 (also known as the Energy Conservation and Optimization Act of 2020), authored by Representative Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids), provides mandates to utilities for energy savings and clean energy technology. The bill passed 79-55.

The House will return tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. for a floor session.

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
100 Washington Avenue S | Suite 2200 | Minneapolis MN 55401

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