Minnesota received more encouraging news on the COVID-19 front this week with the arrival of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. While we all should continue to take responsible steps to keep up the momentum in our work to control the virus – like wearing a mask around others, practicing social distancing, and getting tested if we feel we need one – this is a significant development that makes me hopeful we’re approaching the conclusion of this crisis. If you haven’t done so yet, please sign up for Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector, which will notify you when you’re eligible and connect you with vaccination opportunities.
At the Capitol, I’m able to best advocate for our community when I have maximum input from neighbors. I’m grateful for the engagement through email, on social media, and at our town hall events. There’s now another way to share your input, as I’ve launched my 2021 Legislative Survey. Please take a few minutes and share with me your vision for our state, some of your concerns and challenges, and how we as lawmakers can best pull our state together to rebound from this chapter.
This week was the annual Duluth & St. Louis County Days at the Capitol. Although held virtually this year, I’m incredibly proud of our civic, business, and community leaders in Duluth for pulling this event together. Our region is a crown jewel for education, tourism, commerce, natural resources, and so much more. The strength of Duluth, the Twin Ports, and St. Louis County as a whole is important to the strength of our entire state. This annual event helps me and the other legislators in our delegation tell our collective story and more effectively deliver for the region.
A major barrier to economic opportunity – especially in Greater Minnesota – is the lack of affordable child care. Over the last 20 years, Greater Minnesota lost more than 20,000 child care spots, representing a 17% decrease and is currently about 39,000 spots short based on current workforce needs.
This session, I’m authoring three bills to invest in child care expansion in Minnesota. The legislation will help facilities grow and expand, put care providers on the path to being successful businesses, and ultimately create more child care opportunities. By successfully addressing our child care gap, our employers will no longer have to decide whether to grow or locate their business based on child care opportunities in a particular region, and families will no longer have to decide whether to work or where to work based on the availability of child care. The Star Tribune highlighted this issue here.
Please reach out to me with your input, ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you.