Minnesota Governor Tim Walz says his state has launched a new tip line for minorities who feel they’ve been discriminated against amist coronavirus— as other state services are already overwhelmed.
The new tip line allows Minnesotans to “report discrimination online,” even if they were not a victim of said discrimination. The first option on the new online form allows users to select the option: “I want to report bias or discrimination that I have seen.” A later field asks the informat what “remedy/solution” they are seeking. The form does not require submissions to include a date that an alleged bias incident occurred, and reports can be filed up to one year after an incident.
“An investigator will follow-up with you as soon as possible,” after filing a report, assures the Department of Human Rights. The website is vague in defining what the investigation process looks like after a report is filed.
The potential outcomes of a bias report are described on the site with a complicated chart.
The reporting form is available in Somali, Hmong, Spanish and English. A phone number is also listed along with the information that “translation/interpretation services are available.”
This is the second reporting hotline the Walz administration has encouraged citizens to contact to turn each other in for COVID-19 related infractions. Since last week, state Republicans have urged the governor to disband another hotline that can be used to call in violations of Walz’s stay at home order. (RELATED: 8 Minnesotans Charged With Violating Stay At Home Order)
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are struggling to access unemployment benefits via a broken system.
After Walz ordered sweeping small business shutdowns mid-March, the state has been inundated with record breaking levels of jobless workers in need of assistance. As many as 28% of Minnesotans are expected to apply for some sort of help, according to KTSP. This has caused the state’s application system to break down.
The situation has gotten so severe that officials have asked people to stagger their applications to ease the burden on a failing bureaucracy. Those with Social Security numbers ending in 0, 1 or 2 are directed to file on Monday, 3, 4 or 5 on Tuesday, and 6, 7, 8 or 9 on Wednesday, according to Reuters.
However even this measure has not made the processes easy. “I’ve tried it 10 times now, and you have to start over each time,” one applicant told KSTP. Countless others have also complained that the system simply doesn’t work.