This is good news, but it’s important to remember that we’re still in a pandemic. Though cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are lower than what we saw earlier this winter, they are still occurring. You can read about the specific changes to Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan here, but be sure to continue to wear a mask, stay socially distant, wash your hands, and get a COVID test when necessary.
Halfway Through Session
At this point, we’re about halfway through the 2021 Legislative Session. As chair of the State Government Finance and Elections Committee, I’m hearing numerous pieces of legislation as we come up to committee deadlines - which help legislators narrow the focus on priority bills to continue forward.
As we start the process of crafting our budget proposal in the Minnesota House, there are two recent changes to consider, one of them being the federal American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden last week. If you want to learn more about this robust assistance package, the nonpartisan National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) has an excellent overview of the measure you can check out here.
With incoming federal funds, and a revised state budget forecast, Governor Walz’s revised proposal is another recent change to consider, and it does the following: cuts taxes for Minnesotans who received unemployment benefits during the pandemic, expands the renter’s property tax refund, increases eligibility for the Working Family Credit, and includes an Earned Sick and Safe Time proposal to ensure that workers can accrue up to 48 hours per year of paid leave.
The coming weeks are going to be filled with long committee meetings and late floor sessions, but the outcome will be a state budget that funds Minnesota for the next two years. I’ll be doing my part to ensure that this budget invests in the things our community cares about, and helps us get through and bounce back from this pandemic.
If you have any questions or comments on our work ahead in the Minnesota House, please feel free to reach out to me. The best way to contact my office is through email (email@example.com) or phone (651-296-3751). I appreciate hearing from you.
Rep. Michael V. Nelson