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Legislative Update - August 11, 2021

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Dear neighbors,  While the next legislative session is still awhile away, I’ve continued working in our community and at the Capitol. Here’s the latest news:   Hansen 8.11.2021There was a great crowd at West St. Paul Pride in the Park on Saturday despite the rain!   Advocating for Frontline WorkersFrontline workers have risked their own health to keep the rest of us safe and healthy during the pandemic. They deserve to be compensated for their sacrifices and hard work. The budget we passed earlier this summer included $250 million of premium pay for Minnesotans who face heightened risks of exposure to COVID-19 due to the nature of their work – not to mention significant mental strain.  Nine members of a bipartisan working group – three appointees each from the House, the Senate, and the Walz Administration – are working together to determine who will receive the aid and how it should be allocated. They’ve met several times to hear directly from essential workers and started working on a series of recommendations for the legislature to vote on later this year. If you’d like to stay updated, you can follow along here.  Supporting Businesses and Economic Development Legislators also secured $80 million to help businesses and communities that were negatively impacted by the challenges of the last 18 months. The Main Street Economic Revitalization Program launched earlier this month and is currently accepting proposals from potential partner organizations. Foundations engaged in economic development, community development financial institutions, and nonprofit organizations engaged in housing and commercial development are eligible to apply.  Once the partner organizations are selected this fall, they’ll offer grants and guaranteed loans for economic development and redevelopment projects. More details are available here.   An Update on COVID-19 As the Delta variant spreads across the U.S. and here in Minnesota, public health experts are urging people to get vaccinated to protect themselves and others and to ensure kids can return to school safely. If you haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, you can check out a list of providers and find one nearby at Minnesotans who get their first shot between July 30 and August 15 will receive a $100 Visa gift card. If you’re eligible for or interested in this bonus, you can find more information at   A Reminder to Drive Carefully As we prepare for children to head back to school this fall, I’d like to remind everyone to stay alert and cautious behind the wheel. Here’s a few tips from AAA to help avoid accidents:  Be prepared when in neighborhoods or driving by parks. Children can unexpectedly run out into the street.Be vigilant when backing out of driveways and turning onto residential streets. Children can be playing in hard-to-see places.Follow posted speed limits at all times, especially in areas that have lower speed limits, such as school zones and neighborhood streets.Stay alert, avoid distractions, and put down your phone. Cell phones and electronic devices take your eyes off the road and distract your attention.Always stop when a school bus has its stop sign out. Unless you’re on a divided highway, traffic in both directions must stop for a school bus that has its sign out. If you’re on the other side of a divided highway, still use caution as there are children around. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, or if I can be of assistance. You can reach me via email at or by phone at (651) 296-6828. Sincerely,  Rick Hansen  State Representative  

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