I hope this email finds you and your family well as spring is approaching. Here’s an update from the State Capitol.
You’re invited to join Rep. Julie Sandstede from Hibbing and me for a Virtual Town Hall and Community Conversation on Saturday, March 27 at 10 a.m. on Facebook Live. Each of us will give a brief update on what’s happening in the Minnesota House, but the bulk of the time will be devoted to answering your questions.
You’re strongly encouraged to get your questions in ahead of time by submitting them here. The event will take place on my Facebook page at facebook.com/RepDaveLislegard. We look forward to having you join us on March 27!
This past Friday at the Sawmill in Virginia, Rep. Sandstede and I were honored to meet with area Iron Range business owners to listen to some of their concerns and hear about their challenges. Our hospitality industry has been devastated over the past year due to no fault of their own, and they deserve the chance to recover from this unthinkable hardship. Throughout the legislative session, Rep. Sandstede and I have been working on science-based, data-driven approaches to help more businesses open up with fewer restrictions. We’ve also been driving the conversation with the Walz administration, and voicing what we’ve been hearing from our constituents and our businesses.
Starting today, restrictions are being removed and capacity limits for bars, restaurants, and other businesses are increasing. We’re pleased the governor is listening to us and finally taking these steps to help our local economies recover and move us back toward normalcy. More details on the changes are available here. As we continue to make progress getting COVID-19 under control, we will keep pushing for restrictions to be further loosened to help workers, families, and businesses truly have the opportunity to rebound.
Our vaccine distribution continues to improve, with the pace of Minnesotans getting shots increasing by the day and three versions of the vaccine available. Last week, Minnesota eclipsed 70 percent of seniors receiving the vaccine, well ahead of the end of March, the original anticipated goal to meet this benchmark.
Last week, eligibility for Minnesotans opened up to new priority groups, covering 1.8 million people now eligible to get their shots including:
Minnesotans in the next tier group are also eligible, including:
Please sign up for the state Vaccine Connector if you haven’t yet done so. It will alert you when you’re eligible and connect you with vaccine opportunities. It’s also a good idea to stay in touch with your own health care provider about potential availability. Minnesota still has more demand for the vaccine than supply available, but we’re headed in the right direction, and we’re on pace to have everyone eligible by May 1.
While we’re meeting remotely due to COVID-19 precautions, technology enables us to work with a full committee schedule. House Public Information Services has plenty of nonpartisan resources, including streaming video of floor sessions and committee hearings. They also produce Session Daily with recaps of high-profile bills and other news. I also invite you to follow me on Facebook where I look forward to seeing you for our Town Hall on March 27.
Please contact me if I can be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you.