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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL)

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Legislative Update - January 14, 2021

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Rep. Freiberg

Dear Neighbors, 

Though it may seem like we’ve been in a perpetual legislative session these past few months, we officially started the 2021 Legislative Session last week. We’re just now wrapping up our first full week of committee hearings, and I’m happy to share that in addition to serving as the chair of the House Preventive Health Policy Division, I’m also a member of the Capital InvestmentHealth Finance and Policy, and Subcommittee on Legislative Process Reform committees.

In order to adhere to public health guidelines that keep staff, constituents, and members safe, our official committee work and floor debates will be done virtually. Though you’re unable to observe the legislative process in person, we’ve increased the number of available livestreams on the House of Representatives webpage to ensure the public is able to watch all of our committee hearings and floor sessions, which you can access here. It’s far from ideal, but it’s just one of the many ways we’ve had to adapt during this pandemic - including Zoom calls for taking the oath of office.

Freiberg oath


The Latest on the COVID Vaccine Distribution

As I chaired the House Preventive Health Policy Division this week, we received an update from the Minnesota Department of Health on their efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine.

Over 153,300 Minnesotans have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 31,113 Hennepin County residents.

Health care workers and long term care residents are the first to receive it, followed by essential workers, those 65 or older, and those with underlying health conditions. Our state’s new Vaccine Data Dashboard is a great resource for staying up to date on this process. 



Updates to COVID-19 Measures

Thanks to our shared sacrifice in adhering to public health guidelines, COVID cases have been on a consistent downward trend in Minnesota. In response to this decrease in cases, Governor Walz has been able to roll back restrictions for bars, restaurants, gyms, and other venues and gatherings - which are now in effect.

Dial update

The changes include the following:

  • Indoor dining at bars and restaurants can open at 50 percent capacity, with a maximum of 150 people. Parties of no more than six people must remain six feet from other parties; bar seating is open to parties of two; reservations are required; and establishments must close dine-in service by 10 p.m.
  • Gym capacity remains capped at 25 percent but maximum capacity increases to 150 and classes can increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Machines and people must maintain 9 feet of distance. Face coverings are required.
  • Outdoor events and entertainment continue at 25 percent capacity, but maximum capacity increases to 250 people. Social distancing is required.
  • Indoor events and entertainment – like bowling alleys, movie theaters, and museums – may open at 25 percent, with no more than 150 people in each area of the venue. Face coverings are required, and they may not offer food service after 10 p.m.
  • Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of January 4 and games resume January 14 with spectators, following the appropriate capacity limits for indoor or outdoor venues. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
  • Places of worship remain open at 50% capacity but without an overall maximum capacity.


While this is certainly helpful for our local businesses, it remains incredibly important that we continue to social distance, wash our hands, wear a mask, and get tested



Stay Connected

This session, we’re charged with setting a two-year state budget that helps Minnesotans get through and bounce back from this pandemic, and that work is done best when it’s transparent and responsive to the public. This is going to be far from a normal legislative session, but I still want to hear from you.

Please feel free to continue to reach out to me with any questions or comments you have on our work. You can contact me at and at (651) 296-4176. (E-mail is preferred). You’ll either touch base with me or my legislative assistant, Lindy. I look forward to hearing from you. 



Mike Freiberg

State Representative