MN Government Updates 06.24

Walz Signs Six Bills

Last night, Governor Tim Walz signed six bills into law, including measures to increase reimbursement rates for child care providers, prohibit schools from suspending prekindergarten students, increase vaping prevention instruction, and require all teachers to have annual mental health training.

“I’m proud to sign this bipartisan legislation to make our schools a safe, welcoming and supportive environment for all Minnesota students and bring child care relief to working families across the state,” said Governor Walz. “Together, these bills will use federal funding to support the child care industry and help ensure our little ones get the high-quality education and support they deserve.”

“The bills signed today will make a huge difference for our littlest Minnesotans. I’m grateful to the child advocates who made this possible,” said Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan. “By eliminating prekindergarten suspensions and increasing child care assistance for child care providers across the state, we are putting Minnesota families first and ensuring support for low-income families, families of color, and Black and Indigenous families.”

The bill signing included:

  1. Chapter 5, Senate File 5 – Technical Change to Amusement Ride Operations

This is a technical correction bill to change the effective date of the recently passed legislation on Amusement Parks.

  1. Chapter 6, Senate File 45 – Gambling Control Laws Modification

This bill provides regulatory relief to the licensed lawful gambling organizations that risk being out of compliance due to the impacts of COVID-19.

  1. Chapter 7, House File 105 – Health and Human Services Waiver Extension

This bill provides an extension of waivers and modifications to human services programs approved under Executive Order 20-12. This bill allows for some waivers to continue for 60 days after the state peacetime emergency ends, aligns certain waivers to the federal peacetime emergency and allows for some waivers to continue until June 30, 2021.

  1. Chapter 8, House File 33 – Education Policy

This bill prohibits districts and charters from suspending a prekindergarten student. Additionally, it requires all middle school students to receive vaping prevention instruction at least once, encourages it for high school students, and adds questions about vaping and smoking prevention to the Minnesota Student Survey; it requires all tiers of teachers to have annual training on mental health; it modifies district reporting on serving students with dyslexia to include screening; and other provisions.

  1. Chapter 9, House File 41 – Child Care Assistance Program Rates

Increases rates for Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program to the 25% percentile of the 2018 market survey on-going. This legislation ensures that Minnesota meets federal compliance for the next two years.

  1. Chapter 10, House File 63 – Shared Work Plan Eligibility

This bill provides additional flexibility to employers to use shared work plans as part of the Unemployment Insurance program.

Minnesota Department of Health Briefing

This afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health conducted a press briefing with reporters to update the public on the state’s efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

  • Director Ehresmann announced the state now has 33,763 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19.
  • This is up 304 cases over yesterday.
  • The median case age is 39.8 year-old.
  • The state now has 1,397 COVID-19 deaths. This is up five over yesterday’s report.
  • Currently, 340 patients are hospitalized for COVID-19 with 160 of those in the ICU.
  • Yesterday, 9,556 COVID-19 laboratory tests were processed.
  • The daily test positivity rate is at 3.2%. The seven-day average is at 3.3%
  • Director Ehresmann noted that test results based on the community testing sites set up in Minneapolis and St. Paul following demonstrations and civil unrest are showing significant disparities in the positivity rates among those tested:
  • 0.2% for Caucasian
  • 1.3% for Black
  • 5% for Asian
  • 7.4% for Latino
  • She also noted that the state is seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in south central Minnesota among adults in their 20s who have visited multiple bars over the weekend of June 12 and 13. Director Ehresmann reiterated the importance of social distancing and avoiding crowding when visiting bars and restaurants given the high risk for transmission to others.
  • When asked about the possibility of people being able to attend Twins games given the announcement of Major League Baseball resuming games in July, Director Ehresmann responded that the department will be looking at options. “It’s possible, but we want to be cautious because of opportunity for crowding.”

Amos A. Briggs | Government Relations
LOCKRIDGE GRINDAL NAUEN P.L.L.P.
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