COVID-19 is of course interrupting the daily course of business for people everywhere, and we hope you are all healthy and taking the recommended safety precautions at home and in the workplace. With that being said, we are working hard to keep MESERB’s priorities moving forward as smoothly (and safely) as possible. This includes ongoing work on specific priorities discussed in our workplan as well as other issues we see that fall under the purview of MESERB’s overall concerns, which we pursue at the direction of the Executive Committee. Below are a few things we have worked on recently as well as some updates and upcoming issues:
- Meetings at MPCA: All meetings and events at or hosted by the MPCA will be canceled until April 30. Some meetings have changed to an online-only format; a list of specific meetings can be found here.
- Fee Comments: The comments we submitted on behalf of MESERB last week can be found here. Though the MPCA has not formally introduced rule language, we submitted comments on behalf of MESERB to make our stance on MPCA’s current proposal clear. We anticipate we will have another opportunity to comment when official language is released. If you have any questions on these comments, please contact Gretel Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- MESERB Annual Meeting: As of now, we anticipate that the Annual Meeting scheduled for June 4-5 at Madden’s on Gull Lake will continue as planned. Though this is subject to change as the COVID-19 situation progresses, we are currently operating under the assumption the meeting will continue and are planning accordingly. We hope to get additional details out to everyone later this week.
- Legislative Updates: Though MESERB does not actively lobby at the state legislature, we have been monitoring a number of bills that stand to impact MESERB members. While we will continue to do so, it is very possible that a number of these issues will not move forward this year as the legislature is opting to focus on the bills that they deem to be most critical. Legislators did pass a $200 million COVID-19 response package overnight. It includes $150 million in grants for health providers that can be used for testing, temporary isolation facilities for sick patients, staffing and cleaning supplies, among other things. You can read the full bill here. For more information on the status of the legislature and how it plans to handle operations for the remainder of 2020, please see this update from the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities.
- Other Items: We have a few updates planned for this week, including legislative summaries and other notifications, and the Regulatory and Legal update which will continue to go out regularly. If other issues emerge, please continue to reach out to us – we’re here to assist you, and we know problems and issues don’t cease due to a virus.
We understand that this is a very stressful and uncertain time for everyone. We will continue to do our work the best that we can in as safe a manner as possible, and will do our very best to keep MESERB members as informed as possible. Daniel and Gretel are both available by phone and email; please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns, or issues. As a reminder, our contact information is here:
Take good care, everyone, and thank you all for the work you do for our communities – you help keep us functioning! Looking forward to us all getting together in June.