Thank you to everyone who joined Rep. Masin, Sen. Carlson, and me last weekend! It was great to see so many people from the community at our town hall. If you weren’t able to join us, a video of the event is available here. If you have additional questions or comments that you’d like to share, please feel free to contact me directly.
Vaccine Distribution Update
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I encourage you to check out our state’s new COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. This free tool will let you know when you’re eligible to receive a vaccine, connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment, and notify you about vaccine opportunities in your area. You can sign up online at mn.gov/vaccineconnector or call 833-431-2053.
Yesterday, Governor Walz announced that Minnesota is on track to vaccinate 70 percent of our seniors by the end of March. Once we reach this critical benchmark, vaccine eligibility will expand to other groups in phases based on underlying health conditions and workplace exposure risk. Current projections indicate that the next group of Minnesotans will likely begin receiving vaccines in April, and everyone should be able to get one this summer.
Supporting Paid Family and Medical Leave
Minnesotans shouldn’t be forced to choose between a paycheck and taking care of a newborn, a loved one, or themselves. Earlier this week, House DFLers introduced a plan to ensure all workers can access paid family and medical leave (HF 1200). Under this legislation, people with qualifying family events and medical conditions could apply for up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year. That means Minnesotans could take time off to bond with a new baby, care for an aging parent, or get treatment for a serious illness. The program would be similar to Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance program, with premiums split between employers and employees. I’m proud to support this critical benefit for working families.
Providing Shelter and Services to Minnesotans Experiencing Homelessness
As a member of the Preventing Homelessness Division, I’ve heard many Minnesotans who have experienced homelessness testify about the importance of having a safe home and resources to help address individual challenges. That’s why I’m championing legislation to strengthen a program known as the “Metro Demo” project (HF 780) that provides shelter and services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness. Over the next three years, my bill would increase the number of housing units and expand the program to cover the entire seven-county metropolitan area. It received unanimous support during its first public hearing, which you can watch here.
Protecting Minnesota Taxpayers
Minnesota is one of just two states where individuals’ tax refunds can be seized if they have medical debt. Between 2014 and 2019, the Minnesota Department of Revenue withheld $81.6 million in refunds from about 24,000 people per year on behalf of private hospitals and health care providers. I recently introduced a bill that would put an end to this practice (HF 363). The bill received bipartisan support at its first public hearing and is now on its way to another committee.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or if I can be of assistance. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-4128.