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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Beginning Tuesday, February 16, MNsure will open a three-month special enrollment period to help any Minnesotan not currently enrolled through MNsure secure health insurance coverage. This announcement follows a new enrollment period established by President Biden for states that use healthcare.gov, the federally run health insurance marketplace. 

MNsure’s special enrollment period will run until Monday, May 17.

If you are uninsured or have coverage outside of MNsure, you can visit MNsure.org between February 16 and May 17 to enroll in a health insurance plan.

Paid Sick Leave

The House Labor, Industry, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee heard Democrats' labor mandate bills for earned sick time and paid leave. 

The paid leave mandate, also included in the Governor’s budget, would result in a tax hike on nearly every employer and employee in Minnesota to pay for a new state-run system that would require extensive layers of bureaucracy and countless new government employees. 

Ensuring that more folks have access to good benefits like earned sick and paid leave time is something that we should pursue. But this is an issue that should be addressed by the free market and not through government mandate.

Low Income Energy Assistance Program 

As Minnesotans continue to feel the impact of COVID-19, I want you to know that there is still assistance available to income-eligible households (both owners and renters) for home heating bills and furnace repairs. The Energy Assistance Program can help by providing financial assistance:

  • To pay past due energy bills to avoid disconnection
  • To purchase fuel for delivery in emergencies
  • To repair or replace homeowners’ malfunctioning furnaces.

The application period is open until May 31st, 2021. Click here for more information and to apply: https://mn.gov/commerce/eap.jsp 

Legislation to Codify Mask Mandate

Democrats have introduced legislation that would officially codify Governor Walz’s mask mandate into law. The bill, House File 604, would require masks to be worn in a variety of settings including:

  • indoors at a business or public setting;
  • waiting outdoors to enter an indoor business or indoor public setting;
  • riding on public transportation, in a school vehicle, in a ride-sharing vehicle, or a vehicle being used for a business purpose;
  • outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from others who are not members of the individual's household; or
  • in a common area of a multi-unit dwelling.

Individuals and businesses that do not comply with the legislation would be subject to criminal penalties.

I am opposed to this mandate and expect this bill has little chance of becoming law thanks to the Republican majority in the Senate. I am opposed to a mask mandate and believe individuals should make decisions for themselves and their families without government coercion.

Staying in Touch

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at rep.glenn.gruenhagen@house.mn.

Have a great day,

Glenn

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