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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ruth Richardson (DFL)

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Legislative Update- February 19, 2021

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rep. Richardson

 

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, the state of Minnesota launched a new COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. This will serve as a tool to help Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

When eligible, the Vaccine Connector will:

  • alert Minnesotans of their eligibility;
  • connect them to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment; and
  • notify them if there are vaccine opportunities in their area.

As Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights, Sunfish Lake and Eagan residents become eligible for the vaccine, they will still make appointments directly through a registered vaccinator at that time. However, this Connector is an easy way for us to stay updated about eligibility and opportunities to get a shot once it’s our turn.

To date, 728,081 Minnesotans have received their first dose of the vaccine.  You can track new information daily at 11:00 a.m. on the COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard.

connector


Legislation Update

HF 660: My legislation, the Dignity in Pregnancy and Childbirth Act, legislation that addresses appalling disparities in maternal and child health outcomes, passed its first committee on a bipartisan vote of 17-0 last week. In Minnesota, the maternal mortality rate for Black mothers is 2.3 times higher than the mortality rate for white women. Black infants are also twice as likely to die before their first birthday compared with White infants. Dr. Rachel Hardeman, an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota who testified in the committee, found that the mortality rate for Black babies was cut in half when they were cared for by Black doctors. I’m grateful this important measure is moving through the committee process.


Catalytic converter theft is on the rise, and I’ve heard from many in our community who have been impacted. As a result, I’m working on legislation to help crack down on these expensive crimes by making it illegal for anyone to sell a catalytic converter except a repair shop, auto recycler or vehicle owner with proof of ownership. Minnesotans are already struggling enough economically with the ongoing pandemic- this shouldn’t be one more thing they have to worry about.


HF 450: This bill creates a right to counsel for public housing tenants in eviction cases. Under this legislation, the courts must provide an attorney to these Minnesotans who are unable to afford an attorney. Safe, affordable, and accessible housing is essential for family stability, social and economic well-being, and mental and physical health. I’ll continue to advocate for this legislation as it continues through legislative channels.


HF 952: My Missing and Murdered African American Women and Girls legislation to establish a task force to investigate the causes to reduce and eliminate violence against African American women and girls had its first hearing in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee today. In Minnesota based on unpublished review of the Certificate of Death data from 2016-2019, the average adjusted rate for Black and African women in Minnesota was 2.2 times the rate for all women in Minnesota. In addition, across the nation an estimated 75,000 Black women and girls are missing. A task force is an important first step in how as we move forward with policy strategies that address the root of these troubling patterns.


Keep in Touch

Please continue reaching out anytime with input and questions at rep.ruth.richardson@house.mn or 651-296-4192. I’m always happy to help when I can.

Sincerely,

Ruth Richardson

State Representative

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