March 26, 2020

Stay at Home Directive in Minnesota

Governor Walz issued an order most Minnesotans have been expecting for days.  Effective Friday, March 27th at 11:59 pm, Minnesota residents are ordered to “Stay at Home” until Friday, April 10th at 5 pm.  The Executive Order 20-20 provides exemptions for Critical Sectors, as defined in the US Department of Homeland Security CISA Guidance and a number of additional categories.  Attached is the Order 20-20 along with a document provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which lists Critical Industries by NAICS Code.  Order 20-20 provides exemptions for the following activities:  Relocation to ensure safety, Health and safety activities, Outdoor activities, Necessary supplies and services, Essential intra and inter state travel, care of others and displacement.  

The following webpage has been created by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to assist employers and employees in determining whether their business or job is an essential service.  The website also provides a process for businesses to request an exemption to the Governor’s order.

DEED Critical Industry

The most important take away from today’s announcement – if you can continue your business operations remotely, you can keep your business open.  If you need help trying to navigate the Governor’s Order, or the process for requesting an exemption please let me know.

The Governor also announced he has amended two previous executive orders.  Executive Order 20-18, amends the Governor’s Executive Order 20-04 and extends the closing of bars, restaurants, gyms and entertainment facilities until 5 pm on May 1st.  Executive Order 20-19, amends the Governor’s Executive Order 20-01, and extends school closings until May 4th.  This order also directs all schools to begin implementing “distance learning”.

Other items of interest announced during the Governor’s now daily 2pm press event

  • Unemployment claims now exceed 164,000, women have been disproportionally impacted according to a DEED analysis of the filings.
  • 287 confirmed cases, 26 hospitalizations and 1 death.  6,365 tests have been conducted.
  • A violation of the “Stay at Home” order is punishable by a $1,000 fine or imprisonment of not more than 90 days.

Legislative Updates

On Thursday, the Minnesota Legislature will return to St. Paul for a brief session.  The House is set to start at noon and the Senate plans to start at 2 pm.  House and Senate Committees have been holding informal working group meetings for the past week.  Issue area leads and Committee Chairs have been limiting participation in the discussions to keep from triggering Minnesota’s open meeting laws.  The discussions have been conducted by conference calls and Zoom.  After substantial backlash from Minnesota reporters, the House released the following webpage with details regarding legislative activity during the recess.

Minnesota House COVID-19 Updates

House and Senate Leadership have promised to post the COVID-19 bill scheduled for Thursday’s debate once it is finalized.  Leadership is also working on plans for managing the floor sessions, while also recognizing the Minnesota Department of Health’s social distancing guidelines.  The House has announced there will be no public access to the second floor of the Capitol during the session.  Reporter access will also be limited, and there are no plans for the Legislature to hold any hearings on what is projected to be a massive piece of legislation with a price tag that may near $350 million.

The House and Senate Sessions will be available online at the following links.

House Floor Session

Senate Floor Session

These are challenging times for all us, we are trying our best to keep everyone updated in an environment that changes numerous times each and every day.