It’s been a busy couple of weeks at the Capitol! Here’s an update on some of the important bills we’ve passed:
Minnesota’s Response to Coronavirus
I’m hearing from many community members who want to know what our state is doing about COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus. We all need to be prepared for challenges in the days ahead, but Minnesota is fortunate to have a strong public health system and world-class health care providers that are working hard to protect us.
Public health officials identified Minnesota’s first COVID-19 case last Friday, and they’re working around the clock to prepare for and stop the spread of this disease. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals, clinicians, and local officials. The Minnesota House and Senate unanimously approved a coronavirus response bill on Monday, and Governor Walz signed it into law the next day.
Minnesotans should follow the advice of the CDC and MDH to help prevent the spread of this disease:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand.
- Stay home when sick.
- Stay informed. Visit the MDH and CDC websites often.
I’ll be in touch with updates when I receive new information. MDH has set up a public hotline that’s open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. You can call the hotline at 651-201-3920 or visit www.health.state.mn.us for up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19.
Ensuring Access to Affordable Insulin
The cost of insulin has tripled in the last 10 years, and it’s forced one in four people with diabetes to ration their insulin. The first bill we passed in the House this session, the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, is named after a young man who lost his life because he had to ration insulin after aging out of his parents’ health insurance. The bill would help Minnesotans get the insulin they need at a price they can afford in an emergency and long-term and hold insulin manufacturers accountable for inflating the cost of lifesaving medications.
I voted for Alec’s Bill, and it passed with bipartisan support. Now it’s in the hands of the Minnesota Senate.
Giving Minnesotans Time to Take Care of Themselves and Others
Far too many Minnesotans are forced to choose between work and taking care of a loved one or themselves. Last week, we passed the Paid Family & Medical Leave Act, a bill that gives workers time to bond with a newborn, help an aging parent, or care for a sick child. Millions of hardworking Minnesotans and their families would benefit from the increased economic security that paid family and medical leave provides. Offering these benefits helps employers attract and retain workers, so small businesses would also benefit from paid family and medical leave.
Be Counted in the 2020 Census
The U.S. Census provides crucial data that’s used to determine how much federal funding our state receives for schools, fire departments, roads and bridges, hospitals, and other services we all rely on. Census data also impacts representation at the local, state, and national level because it’s used to redraw legislative districts to account for population changes. Minnesota needs a strong, accurate count to get our fair share of resources and keep our eighth Congressional seat.
The U.S. Census Bureau has started sending information about the 2020 Census to every home in Minnesota. Please keep an eye out for instructions on how to be counted and make sure to complete your census form. If you want more information about this once-in-a-decade count, click here to see a fact sheet or here to watch a short video.
Stay in Touch
Thanks to everyone who came to the town hall meeting at Oakdale City Hall last month! Please continue sharing your questions and feedback.
One of my favorite parts of the legislative session is meeting with people who come to the Capitol to fight for what they believe in. Just Tuesday was Disability Services Day at the Capitol, and I was able to meet with several constituents!
It’s an honor to represent you! Please feel free to contact me with questions and feedback.