It’s been a particularly busy week at the Capitol as we approach the midpoint of the legislative session. Here’s the latest news from St. Paul:
Strengthening Family Child Care
As a co-chair of the Family Child Care Task Force, I’ve spent the last two years working with providers, licensors, and other lawmakers to determine what we can do to improve child care, support providers, and ensure children receive the affordable, high-quality care that they deserve. On Tuesday, I presented legislation based on that work to the House Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee. My bill would implement the bipartisan task force’s recommendations, such as creating an ombudsperson position to assist providers with licensing and compliance; evaluating Parent Aware, Minnesota’s child care quality rating system; modernizing family child care regulations; and providing grants for communities to increase the supply of child care providers. These changes would make a big difference for family child care providers and the families they serve!
Addressing Groundwater Contamination
Yesterday, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced that they found PFAS contamination in groundwater at 98 of the 101 closed landfill sites that they tested. Called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down, PFAS can build up in the environment and in our bodies and lead to negative health effects.
59 of these landfills have contamination levels that exceed state safety guidelines. That means drinking water sources across Minnesota will need to be monitored for PFAS. I am supportive of efforts to clean up closed landfills, but we also need to do more to prevent contamination before it occurs, such as passing my bill that would ban the use of PFAS in food packaging.
Last week, I was appointed to serve as a member of the ServeMinnesota Board of Directors for the next two years. This team oversees all of the state’s AmeriCorps programs. As a former AmeriCorps member myself, I’m honored and excited for this opportunity.
COVID-19 Restrictions Relaxed
Several COVID-19 restrictions were rolled back or modified on Monday. See the graphic below for details on these changes, and modifications that will take effect next month. You can find more information at staysafe.mn.gov.
Governor Walz is expected to ease more restrictions as summer nears and more Minnesotans get vaccinated. Until then, it’s important that we continue to practice good hand hygiene, mask wearing, and social distancing to protect the gains that we’ve made so that we can come out on the other side of this pandemic.
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