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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Andrew Carlson (DFL)

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Legislative Update: March 10, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

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Rep. Carlson

Dear Neighbors, 

This week, I’d like to ask for your feedback on issues that could be discussed this 2021 Legislative Session, including recovering and rebuilding from COVID-19, ensuring Minnesotans have affordable health care, great educational opportunities from preschool through job training, and economic security. Our government always works best when the decisions made include all.

The link for the 2021 Legislative Survey for District 50B is below. Please get in touch with me anytime. I appreciate hearing from you! 

CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY

New Vaccine Location in Bloomington

HealthPartners recently opened its first drive-up vaccination site at its Bloomington headquarters, and is prepared to open additional drive-up sites as vaccine supply increases. The site will be open 7 days a week, and appointments are required. 

More than 600 patients per day will be able to get their vaccine at this new Bloomington drive-up location. The system has the capacity to vaccinate approximately 20,000 people each week, as supply allows. With the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, storage will be easier, and the speed of vaccination in Minnesota is set to pick up drastically.

More information on vaccine eligibility and appointment availability with HealthPartners can be found here.

Update on Minnesota’s Economic Forecast

Twice each year, near the end of November and February, Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) produces a forecast of the state’s General Fund revenues and expenditures for current and future bienniums. There is no longer an anticipated shortfall for the 2022-23 fiscal year based on today’s announcement! The projected positive balance is $1.6 billion due to higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased balance for the current fiscal year.

At the legislature, we will prioritize investments that put people first and create a better quality of life for all Minnesotans.

Governor's Visit to Mall of America Vaccination Site

Last Saturday, Governor Tim Walz visited the Mall of America vaccination site in Bloomington on the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 case documented in Minnesota. March 6th, also marks the state surpassing 1 million Minnesotans having received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose.

I am extremely proud of our Bloomington community and the leadership we can take part in to combat COVID-19. Recent vaccine news in Minnesota indicates that we will champion this fight and emerge stronger from the challenges of this pandemic. 

Deadlines for Filing Your Taxes

Several weeks ago, a constituent reached out to ask about tax deadlines this Spring. Here is some information to keep in mind as you gather all the necessary documents to file your tax returns. 

Generally, people file their 2020 Minnesota tax returns by April 15th, 2021. If you owe tax, or anticipate owing taxes, you must pay by that date, even if you are planning on filing your returns at a later date. The latest date you can file your returns without facing penalty is October 15th, 2021. 

For further information or assistance, you can visit this link to read more. As always, I am happy to answer any questions or concerns you have as well. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Minnesota Vaccine Distribution Update 

We just received great news: Minnesota is expanding vaccine eligibility on Wednesday, March 10 as the state reaches its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 years of age and older. At our current pace, Minnesota is now several weeks ahead of schedule. More than 1.8 million Minnesotans will become eligible to receive a vaccine beginning this week.

Now eligible

Phase 1b Tier 2 populations include: 

  • Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD & CHF)
  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers
  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness

Phase 1b Tier 3 populations include:

  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC
  • Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions*
  • Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers

All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability. Minnesotans can also call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone.

vaccines

Stay In Touch

You can stay up to date on our work by subscribing to these legislative updates and “liking” my official Facebook page. For any questions you have on the resources available to our community or our work in the Minnesota House, you can reach me at rep.andrew.carlson@house.mn or leave a voicemail at (651) 296-4218. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Andrew Carlson 

State Representative

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