Yesterday, the House took up several bills to help lift up and provide more assistance to some of the heroes who have been steadfast in their support on the frontlines of COVID-19 for Minnesotans.
Securing Workers’ Compensation for First Responders
Health care and public safety workers continue to respond to the needs of Minnesotans to keep us safe. Last year, we passed a bill to ensure these Minnesotans would receive workers’ compensation if they contracted COVID-19 or were exposed to it on the job. That provision is set to expire on May 1, but first responders are still in a vulnerable position- especially with new variants of the virus appearing across the west metro. Today, the House will vote on a bill that would extend that deadline. Nurses, doctors, paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, and child care workers are covered under this proposal. You can read my official statement of support here.
Helping Hospitality and Service Sector Workers Return to their Jobs
Many who were employed at hotels, airports, event centers, and related businesses were laid off last year. Since many Minnesotans are still avoiding travel and large events due to COVID-19, many of these workers haven’t been able to return to their jobs yet. That’s why we’re championing legislation to help hospitality and service sector workers return to the jobs they had before the pandemic.
Summer Learning Package
Students, parents, and families have been hit hard by the pandemic, academically and emotionally. The robust summer learning package we passed on Tuesday would 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’m looking forward to the Senate’s swift action to approve the companion legislation, so we can get our kids back on track and move forward in getting them the make up help they need and deserve.
Earned Safe and Sick Time
Thursday, we passed HF 7, legislation to extend Earned Sick and Safe Time benefits to all Minnesota workers. The legislation would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year.
An estimated 900,000 workers – especially those in low-wage positions and those in the service industry – don’t have access to sick days or any other paid time off. Under the bill, Earned Sick and Safe Time could be used for the following purposes:
- To attend to the worker’s physical and mental health needs, including illness, injury or doctor’s appointment
- To attend to the physical and mental health needs of a family member (including illness, injury or appointment)
- Absence due to domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking of the worker or a family member
- If the worker’s job site is closed because of weather or a public emergency, or if a family member’s school is closed
- If the health authorities have determined that the worker or his/her family needs to stay at home because they could jeopardize the health of others (like a pandemic)
Vaccine Eligibility Expands Starting Tuesday
Governor Walz announced today that starting Tuesday, all Minnesotans 16 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. While eligibility will be expanded starting next Tuesday, not every Minnesotan will be immediately able to make an appointment. Vaccine shipments from the federal government will continue increasing over the coming weeks, but for now demand will still exceed supply.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I encourage you to check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool to help people find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine. It can let you know when you’re eligible to be vaccinated, connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment, and alert you if there are vaccine opportunities nearby. To sign up, visit mn.gov/vaccineconnector or call 833-431-2053. Minnesotans can also contact their healthcare provider, local pharmacy or use the Vaccine Locator Map to search for vaccine providers in their area.
Keep in Touch
Please continue reaching out anytime with questions or feedback at email@example.com. It’s an honor to work with you, and represent our Rosemount, Apple Valley, and Coates neighbors at the State Capitol.
Enjoy the weekend,