Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 assistance package earlier this week. Details about the bill and how the funding will be distributed are forthcoming, but this critical aid will help Minnesotans meet their basic needs until a COVID-19 vaccine is available for all who want one.
In other good news, Monday was the shortest day of the year, and there will be more daylight hours from this point forward. I hope you and your loved ones are able to take advantage of them and the mild weather we’re experiencing.
I took this photo of the beautiful sunrise yesterday.
New Laws Take Effect
Two significant new laws will take effect on Friday, January 1. One modifies how sexual assault kits are tested and stored. It aims to ensure the kits are stored properly and extends the time that untested kits are retained, giving survivors more time to change their mind about having the evidence analyzed. The other will improve continuity of care via shortened timelines for prior authorization and access to information about health care plans. You can read more about these laws here.
Clean Cars Minnesota Update
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is moving forward with the Clean Cars Minnesota rulemaking process. On Monday, the agency formally announced that they intend to adopt Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) and Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) standards that would increase the availability of clean cars – including electric vehicles – and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants. The MPCA is hosting a series of information sessions and two public hearings to discuss the proposed rule. You can find more information about these events and other opportunities to participate in the rulemaking process here.
A few years ago, I authored legislation that allowed the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to sell gift cards that can be used for hunting and fishing licenses, gear, and more. If you’d like to give a loved one the gift of the outdoors, you can purchase these gift cards and other items on the DNR’s online gift shop.
Stay in Touch
No matter how you’re celebrating, I hope you and your family have a joyful and healthy season. Please stay safe and well.
Please reach out if you have any questions or feedback. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-6828.