Today, Governor Walz announced updated COVID-19 vaccine guidance. Starting Tuesday, anyone age 16 or older is eligible to get a shot. We’re anticipating a substantial jump in the amount of COVID-19 vaccine available next month, and we have the logistical infrastructure in place to distribute it quickly.
If you haven’t done so yet, you should sign up for the state’s Vaccine Connector which will let you know about vaccine opportunities. The outlook continues to get brighter, and everyone should be commended for following safety guidelines to hopefully put this chapter behind us soon.
This has been “Heroes Week” in the Minnesota House, recognizing the contributions and sacrifices from essential workers on the frontlines of the pandemic. Last night, we passed several bills on the House Floor to help deliver the health, safety, and economic security they count on. Earned Sick and Safe Time will ensure no Minnesota worker must choose between a paycheck and staying home when they’re sick or to take care of a sick child. The Preventing Pay Discrimination Act will prohibit employers from inquiring about an applicant’s pay history, a tool widely used to hold down wages. We passed a bill with rehire and retention protections for certain hospitality and service workers who were laid off during the pandemic. For the health care and public safety workers that continue to work in some of the most exposed positions - we passed legislation extending their access to workers’ comp in the event they contract COVID-19.
We also passed my bill with a series of recommendations from the Workers Compensation Advisory Council. This is unique legislation because it only comes to the House and Senate floors if both business and labor representatives give their approval.
Unquestionably, Minnesota students have been impacted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and they deserve a chance to make up for learning loss over the past year. This week, the House passed a comprehensive Summer Learning Package. The bill invests in summer programs, tutoring, hands-on learning, mental health services, and other support to help students achieve. Many school districts have also experienced declining enrollment over the past year, and the legislation includes funding to help ensure students will be held harmless and educational programming won’t suffer as a result of COVID-19.
Next week is the traditional Easter/Passover recess for the Legislature. When we come back to the Capitol on April 6, I expect we will work quickly to advance our House DFL budget priorities aimed at helping Minnesotans rebound from COVID-19 and ensuring everyone can once again thrive when we move beyond the pandemic.
Our budget includes:
The past year has been one of the most challenging times we’ve ever experienced. Minnesotans are expecting lawmakers to work together to help them bounce back from the struggles caused by COVID-19. This budget framework puts us in a good position to deliver the investments our small businesses, students, families, and communities are counting on to build a better future for all Minnesotans.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me with your viewpoints, feedback, or if I can ever be of assistance. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number at the Capitol is 651-296-4308. Feel free to be in touch any time.