Securing Worker’s Compensation for
Last year, we passed a bill to ensure these Minnesotans on the frontline of this pandemic would receive workers’ compensation if they contracted COVID-19 or were exposed to it on the job. That provision is set to expire on May 1, but first responders are still in a vulnerable position- especially with new variants of the virus appearing across the west metro. Yesterday, we passed a bill that would extend that deadline. Nurses, doctors, paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, and child care workers are covered under this proposal. You can read my official statement of support here.
Preventing Wage Discrimination
March 24 is Equal Pay Day, an annual reminder that American women continue to be paid less than men. For every dollar that a White man is paid, Asian women make 85¢, White women make 82¢, Black women make 61¢, Indigenous women make 58¢, and Latina women make 53¢. One of the reasons that this gap exists is that employers can ask job applicants about their pay history and use it to make compensation decisions, which perpetuates the cycle of discrimination. I’m proud to share the House passed the Preventing Discrimination Act, a bill that halts this practice and brings us one step closer to closing the pay gap.
Helping Hospitality and Service Sector Workers Return to their Jobs
There are Hopkins and St. Louis Park residents employed at hotels, airports, event centers, and related businesses that were laid off last year. Since many Minnesotans are still avoiding travel and large events due to COVID-19, many of these workers haven’t been able to return to their jobs yet. That’s why we’ve championed legislation to help hospitality and service sector workers return to the jobs they had before the pandemic. The bill passed off the House Floor yesterday.
Expanding Access to Earned Sick and Safe Time
The pandemic has demonstrated that we all benefit when workers have the ability to stay home without missing a paycheck. One of the bills we approved yesterday would ensure Minnesota families aren’t forced to choose between a paycheck and taking care of themselves or a loved one. Under this legislation, workers would earn at least one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours per year. Workers could use this time to stay home when they’re sick or to take care of a family member. This would be funded by small contributions from the employer as well as the employee. I am proud to be a co-author of this bill!
Summer Learning Package Advances
Students, parents, teachers, and families have been hit hard by the pandemic, academically and emotionally. The robust summer learning package we passed on Tuesday would help address learning loss through hands-on tutoring and programming, ensure our students have an opportunity to get caught up, and provide critical mental health support to those, including teachers, who need it. I supported this bill when it came through the Education Finance Committee that I sit on and look forward to the Senate’s support of our children’s education as well.
Connecting with Community
Today, I had the opportunity to connect with folks advocating with Nutrition and Dietetics 'Day on the Hill.' Constituents also made their voices heard on a proposal that would add a constitutional amendment to the ballot related to access to a quality public education.
I'm also planning to connect with the Minnesota Youth Council this evening on a bill I'm authoring, in partnership with Hopkins Highs School students, to expand youth mental health access. You may remember I mentioned this legislation in a previous update. In current law a 16 and 17 year-old is allowed to check themselves into an inpatient facility of their own accord but cannot access the help of a mental health professional in an outpatient setting without parental permission. My bill would remove this barrier for our youths.
2021 Legislative Survey: If you have not yet taken my legislative survey, please use the following link to submit your input: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021mn46b\
Legislative Easter/Passover Break: The Legislature will be on recess for the Easter/Passover break Monday, March 29th through April 2, 2021. I wish you all happy and healthy Easter and Passover holidays.
Keep in Touch
Please continue to reach out anytime with questions or input at email@example.com or 651-296-9889. Remote operations in the House continue, so email is the quickest way to reach me.
Thank you for the honor of serving our Hopkins and St. Louis Park neighbors at the State Capitol.
Have a nice weekend!