Neighbors and Friends,
On Tuesday, House DFL leadership and legislators released our budget proposal framework and targets. Our budget makes smart investments in education and helps those who have been most impacted by COVID-19. I am especially pleased about the additional $30 million in housing funding to help provide stability during these challenging times, because everyone deserves a safe and affordable home. Our framework supports families, workers, students, and small business not only come out of the pandemic better than before, but able to thrive and succeed.
You can read details of the proposal and my news release here.
You can learn more about the Housing Finance and Policy Committee, review our agenda, and view past meetings on the House website committee page.
Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the expansion of vaccine eligibility for 16 years of age and older starting Tuesday, March 30th. The announcement is in response to the expected increased supply of vaccines by the federal government to arrive in April.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I encourage you to check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 mn.gov/vaccineconnector, call 833-431-2053 or check with your health insurance carrier to help you find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine.
Earned Sick and Safe Time Passes House
Thursday, we passed HF 7, legislation to extend Earned Sick and Safe Time benefits to all Minnesota workers. The legislation would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year.
An estimated 900,000 workers – especially those in low-wage positions and those in the service industry – don’t have access to sick days or any other paid time off. Under the bill, Earned Sick and Safe Time could be used for the following purposes:
- To attend to the worker’s physical and mental health needs, including illness, injury or doctor’s appointment
- To attend to the physical and mental health needs of a family member (including illness, injury or appointment)
- Absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the worker or a family member
- If the worker’s job site is closed because of weather or a public emergency, or if a family member’s school is closed
- If the health authorities have determined that the worker or his/her family needs to stay at home because they could jeopardize the health of others (like a pandemic)
Governor Walz to Deliver State of the State Address
Governor Tim Walz will deliver his third State of the State address tonight - Sunday, March 28, beginning at 6:00pm. The address will be delivered from the Governor’s former social studies classroom at Mankato West High School.
Media outlets can carry the Governor’s address and it will also be streamed on the Governor’s YouTube page here. The announcement will be available in Hmong here, in Spanish here, in Somali here, and on TPT NOW Channel 2.5.
Tax Filing Deadline Update
The Minnesota Department of Revenue has announced a filing date extension for taxpayers to file their 2020 Minnesota Individual Income Tax return, aligning with a recent IRS decision. Minnesotans now have until May 17 to file their payments and returns. Please visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website with information on their resources, including COVID-19 relief available for businesses, and sign up for updates.
The House has expanded the number of simultaneous committees it can?webcast live?from a maximum of two to five, so you can stay current on issues moving through committees this budget session.
Also, the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.
I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can call me at (651) 296-3824 or send an email at email@example.com.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.