Our legislative deadlines for bills to be heard have been announced and our committee work continues. As of yesterday, 1,079 bills have been introduced in the House. Here’s an update from the Capitol:
Economic Security for Hospitality Workers
It’s no secret that the hospitality industry has been impacted especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, House DFLers introduced legislation creating protections for rehiring and retaining workers who have been laid off as a result of the pandemic. It would help workers employed by hotels, airports, and event centers, as well as the facilities attached to them, including restaurants, bars, and retail. Those working in related services, including maintenance, security, ticketing, ground-handling, and food and beverage would be eligible as well. Employers would be required to provide eligible workers with information about available job positions for which they qualify, and to rehire employees based on a preference system of qualifications and seniority.
This is one of several solutions put forward this session to meet the needs of workers, families, and small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.
I’m pleased to share that the Hometown Heroes Act received its first public hearing in the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee this week! This bipartisan initiative to help Minnesota’s firefighters is gaining traction and I hope we can get it across the finish line this year.
Also this week, I presented a bipartisan bill in the Public Safety Committee to expand the Missing Person Alert in Minnesota, and invest in Alzheimer’s training for our first responders. A big thank you to the amazing testifiers who shared their personal stories regarding the disease and what this legislation would mean to them if enacted into law. You can read the nonpartisan recap of the legislation from House Public Information Services here.
I also presented a bill in the Taxes Committee that would require the Department of Revenue (DOR) to submit a report to the legislature on free electronic tax filing options. As part of the study, the Department would survey tax preparation software vendors for information about providing a free electronic preparation and filing option. This is one measure that could help alleviate financial burden of tax filing for many Minnesotans who are struggling economically.
St. Louis Park Emergency Program Food Drive
The St. Louis Park Emergency Program is seeking donations for their upcoming food drive on February 20. Suggested items include canned or dried beans such as kidney, garbanzo, black, pinto or lentil beans, soup, chili, pasta, flour, cooking oil, pasta sauce, canned vegetables, including tomatoes, that are low or no sodium, apple sauce, salt, pepper and spices.
Neighbors may drop off items at the Paul Revere Masonic Center, 6509 Walker St., St. Louis Park from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on February 20. More information is available here.
Keep in Touch
Please continue reaching out anytime with input, ideas and questions at email@example.com or 651-296-9889. With House operations continuing remotely, email is the quickest way to reach me.
Thank you for the honor of serving our St. Louis Park and Hopkins neighbors in the Minnesota House.