Hello from St. Paul,
News of the coronavirus made headlines around the world this week. State lawmakers took action on the problem as well.
Earlier this week, the legislature voted unanimously in the House and Senate to approve emergency funding for the Department of Health to continue their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill included protections for taxpayers that would require money to be paid back to the general fund if it goes unspent. The legislature is considering additional steps to ensure our state and health care system can respond as quickly and effectively as possible — Minnesotans should have confidence that legislators, the governor, and state agencies are working closely based on the expert recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
As this situation unfolds, social media could be rife with misinformation so please continue to rely only on information from trusted sources. Your best sources for up-to-date information are the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites.
SCHOOL SETTLEMENTS RAISE EYEBROWS
I was shocked when I heard about the amount of money that the Minneapolis Public Schools has spent in law settlements in the past few years, but even more so that these settlements seemed to be “buried” so that it was not obvious to parents and community members - tax payers - and they were not aware of this. That is not right. Taxpayers deserve a transparent government. The bill I’m working on will require that. Click here to learn more.
This week I’ve had the pleasure of having a number of local people visit me at the Capitol. I love local visitors! Some of them are pictured here. A local group from REM Minnesota came to advocate for disability services; Freeborn County Commissioner Mike Lee and his wife Rene; local teachers from Ed. Minnesota; Albert Lea Salvation Army lieutenant Gloria Pelayo; Hayfield area resident Randy Demmer; and Albert Lea city officials. We had great discussions by all concerning issues that impact our local communities.
Finally, one of my former first grade students who is now in college and majoring in political science, Parker Mullenbach, stopped by my office while he was at the Capitol advocating for the Minnesota Utility Contractors. It always warms my heart to meet up with my former students and see how they’re doing. Thanks for stopping by, Parker!
Talk to you soon,