By Sen.Jeremy Miller
April 15, 2020
Greetings from the Capitol,
I hope you and your family had a wonderful Easter and Passover. The last few weeks have been incredibly busy here in the Senate, and I wanted to quickly fill you in on some updates.
for first responders
and medical professionals
The coronavirus is having an unprecedented impact on our daily lives, but there are certain workers who are more in harm’s way than the rest of us. Those are the medical professionals and first responders helping to protect our health and safety.
Recently I was proud to broker an agreement that would make sure these workers are eligible for workers’ compensation if they test positive for COVID-19, without having to jump through hoops to prove they were infected during the course of their job. The only way this was going to get done was by bringing together labor unions and business groups, Democrats and Republicans, and their spirit of compromise is what led to an important breakthrough. Because of everyone’s willingness to work together, nurses, firefighters, police officers, paramedics, health care providers, personal care attendants, correctional officers, and others will have one less thing to worry about when they are at work helping keep Minnesotans safe. The bill passed with unanimous support in the Senate, and I am proud to have played a role in getting it across the finish line.
Insulin 4 All agreement
Just today, the Senate unanimously approved a bill providing affordable insulin to most Minnesotans. This follows reforms that were led by the Senate last year, which resulted in insurance companies to lower insulin prices without state requirements. Significantly more people are able to afford insulin this year when compared to last year, and the bill we passed today will help ensure that all Minnesotans have access to affordable insulin. This bipartisan achievement was the result of months of discussions between the House, Senate, and Governor Walz.
Disaster funds for farmers
hurt by the coronavirus
One of the changes the legislature made in a recent coronavirus recovery bill opened up disaster loans to farmers who have been harmed by the virus. The Rural Finance Authority’s (RFA) Disaster Recovery Loan Program can now be used to by farmers who have experienced a loss of revenue due to human disease (such as COVID-19) or experienced a loss of revenue due to highly contagious animal diseases affecting your livestock or poultry flocks.
This loan is available to help you cover lost revenue or expenses not covered by insurance. The funds can be used for to help clean up, repair, or replace farm buildings, repair or replace septic and water systems, replace seed, fertilizer (or other cropping inputs), feed, or livestock and poultry. Learn more about the loans at www.mda.state.mn.us/disasterloan.
DEED’s guide for
Public health is obviously priority number one, but we can’t overlook the economic pain that the coronavirus has caused. Both the state and federal government have made changes to strengthen unemployment benefits and assistance programs for small businesses. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has created a guide with information about all of the programs available to small business owners (see the link below). If you have any questions regarding unemployment benefits or small business assistance programs, please let me know and we will help you get answers to your questions.
Learn more about the small business assistance programs at mn.gov/deed/newscenter/press-releases/?id=425890.
And as always, if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me any time. Your feedback is extremely important to me and I encourage you to share your input. You can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my Capitol office at (651) 296-5649. It’s a great honor to serve as your State Senator.
Finally, if you don’t already follow me on Facebook, please give my page a ‘Like’. This is a great way to stay on top of the latest news from the Capitol! Visit my page at www.facebook.com/SenatorJeremyMiller/.