EVENT Today 11am: Senate COVID 19 Working Group 11am (virtual) – agenda looks interesting

I mentioned this meeting the other day but the agenda is out and it looks interesting for those of us interested in broadband…

Working Group facilitated by the MN Senate through Zoom. Limited public testimony will be taken. Email andrew.eilers@senate.mn by 5 p.m. Thurs-Apr 2. Include your name and organization, if applicable. Once you are registered you will be provided with the Zoom Mtg ID and a password. Testimony will be limited to 2 minutes or discretion of the chair. Participation thru Zoom is capped at 100. Public may view livestream coverage on the MN Senate’s facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/MNSenate/

Update from MN Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED),
Commissioner Steve Grove

Covid -19 impacts on business
– Laura Bordelon, MN Chamber of Commerce
– Mandy Wroolie, Minisota Play Café
– Forest Cyr, MN Nursery and Landscape Association
– Janet Leonard, Styles on Cliff Inc.
– Joel Vikre, Vikre Distillery

Global View of Jobs and Economy, Dr. Neel Kashkari, Minneapolis Federal


Looking at the attachments, I’ll pull out their most salient points…

MNCOGI (MN Coalition on Government Info) …

MNCOGI extends its thanks to the members of the Senate COVID-19 Response Working Group for the adoption of remote technology to facilitate the recent meetings of this body. Our thanks also go out to the Senate staff involved with the logistical and technical undertakings necessary to conduct such remote hearings. MNCOGI would specifically like to highlight the public testimony feature of these remote hearings, and we would encourage the Senate to: 1. Adopt remote meeting/hearing protocols (with contemporaneous public access via the internet) across all Senate committees during the duration of the pandemic emergency, and; 2. Include a public testimony feature in all such meeting and hearings

Minnesota Employment Services Consortium (MESC) and WorkforceNext (WFN)…

[one of five recommendations] Provide technology capacity funding to existing grants to address major equity challenges for low-income people and communities of color, which already have the lowest levels of digital access. Specifically to provide participants access to affordable computers and internet access for distance training and other employment services.

Minnesota Hospitality. I’m going to include a screen shot of their letter so you can see how prominent their one tech remark is…

There is no telework option for this industry.

Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers…

Another major concern is that a large number of the small business clients that MCCD and our members work with are sole proprietors who are unable to collect unemployment. Furthermore, while many small businesses are figuring out new ways to engage with customers, many do not have access to reliable internet or the technology needed to be connected to their peers and their primary clientele. Although we are thankful that the State has provided emergency assistance programs, many of our small business clients will face difficulty pulling together the financial documents needed to apply for emergency loans and assistance programs.

Recommendation from Group of Nonprofits…

Allow distance interactions and telehealth engagements. All grants and contracts must be revised to provide flexibility for remote delivery of services. Many contract requirements currently prevent this from occurring and/or are not billable services.

This entry was posted in Conferences, MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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