The legislature is on Easter/Passover break this week. The last three months have been a valuable learning experience. As a new legislator, I have spent my time not only learning the “ropes,” and getting to know my colleagues, but also meeting with local partners and sponsoring legislation to help our district, region, and state.
One bill I am sponsoring, which supports the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, was heard in the Education Finance committee last week. The measure encourages and increases access for historically underserved communities. An amendment was also added on the bill to fund other state museums including the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul. I am honored to be able to support these great institutions.
Last week, I also met with several Mankato workers concerned about a wide range of issues at their job sites. In addition, I spoke with advocates from Mankato area about the need for broadband investments in Southern Minnesota.
In his State of the State address Sunday night from Mankato High School, Governor Walz talked about brighter days ahead. I feel positive about our path forward and I look with optimism on the coming weeks and months as the pandemic ends. We have come so far in the last year and, while we are not back to ‘normal,’ we are headed in the right direction. I am honored to be part of the effort to help Minnesotans recover and thrive.
Another "first" last week; I participated in an in-person floor session instead of in my office remotely. It was an amazing experience, and I am excited for when we can have more members in the House chamber.
Earned Sick and Safe Time
Last 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 – do not have access to sick days or any other paid time off.
Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the expansion of vaccine eligibility for 16 years of age and older starting TODAY - Tuesday, March 30th. The announcement is in response to the expected increased supply of vaccines by the federal government to arrive in April.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I encourage you to check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 mn.gov/vaccineconnector, call 833-431-2053 or check with your health insurance carrier to help you find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine.
And a reminder that a new permanent vaccination site has opened at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato. In addition, the state continues to offer no-cost community testing for COVID-19 across Minnesota, including at the former Gander Mountain site in Mankato. Minnesotans are encouraged to schedule an appointment at https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing-locations/community-testing.jsp. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Please take a moment to share your legislative priorities by completing my legislative survey. Your name and address are requested to make sure only constituents are weighing in directly. Thank you for your time and I appreciate your input! [This survey was created prior to the February forecast announcement and question #3 does not reflect the current $1.6 billion projected positive balance].
Stay connected with the Legislature
The Minnesota House continues to operate remotely. The House ensures openness and transparency for the public by expanding the number of simultaneous committees it can webcast live?from a maximum of two to five, so you can stay current on issues moving through committees this budget session.
Also, the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.
I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can send an email to email@example.com or can also call my legislative assistant, Joe Lenczewski at 651-296-5486.
Also, please visit and “like” my Facebook page for more Capitol and community updates.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.