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

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March 26: Legislative Update

Friday, March 26, 2021
 

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Rep. Carlson

Dear Neighbors, 

Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the expansion of vaccine eligibility for people 16 years of age and older starting March 30th. The announcement is in response to the increased supply of vaccines by the federal government to arrive in April.

In the past months, Minnesota has proven to be a national leader in getting shots into arms, and will now be able to step into the final stage of distribution. This week, Minnesota was ranked number one in the country for the percentage of vaccine doses administered to Minneostans. For more information, please check out this article by the Star Tribune. 

Additionally, we are entering the final stretch of session, and as we begin to make important decisions, I'd like to hear from you. If you have not already one so, please fill out my legislative survey to let me know how you feel about these important issues. Thanks in advance for your input!

CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY

Helping Hospitality and Service Sector Workers Return to their Jobs

Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives advanced my legislation to help laid-off hospitality and service sector workers return to their jobs. 

This bill applies to Minnesotans employed by hotels, airports, and event centers; the facilities attached to them, including restaurants, bars, and retail; as well as related services, including maintenance, security, ticketing, ground-handling, and food and beverage services. It also applies to an enterprise providing maintenance and security services to office, retail, or commercial buildings, like a staffing agency.

To be eligible for rehire and retention benefits, Minnesotans need to have worked for their employer for at least six months in the year prior to January 31, 2020, and become unemployed after January 31, 2020, due to the pandemic. 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.

Displaced hospitality workers deserve our full support now more than ever. Today’s vote further demonstrates our promise to provide a safety net for workers, majority of which are Black and Latinx, who are suffering the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have full confidence and trust that Minnesota will emerge stronger than before, and build back our community with a flourishing economy.

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Earned Sick and Safe Time for Minnesota Workers

One of the bills we advanced this week ensures that Minnesotans 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 can use this time to stay home when they’re sick, to take care of a family member, or for an absence related to domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. 

Preventing Wage Discrimination

March 24th was Equal Pay Day, an annual reminder that we are still fighting a gender and race pay gap across the nation, and here in Minnesota. Yesterday, the Minneosta House advanced the Preventing Discrimination Act, a bill that halts this practice and brings us one step closer to closing the pay gap.

House File 403 addresses a systemic issue of pay disparities. COVID-19 has demonstrated that we all benefit when workers have the ability to stay home without missing their paycheck. This bill would make our workplaces, schools, and communities healthier, and I am proud to support it in the House. 

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Summer Learning Package Passes

Students, parents, and families are suffering the consequences of this pandemic more than many others, both academically and emotionally. On Tuesday, the Minnesota House passed a robust summer learning package to 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 who need it. I voted in support of the bill and am looking forward to seeing it help our kids succeed.

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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