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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jennifer Schultz (DFL)

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Legislative Update – June 30, 2020

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz announced our state has completed a total of 592,955 tests COVID-19 tests. As part of the state’s testing command center, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota are now able to provide additional testing capacity to more than 265 health care organizations across the state. Also, Minnesota has reached the milestone of developing a daily capacity of 20,000 COVID-19 molecular tests. This “moonshot” was only possible because of strong collaborations between our state and valuable institutions like Mayo and the U of M, and is a critical step towards keeping all Minnesotans safe and healthy during this pandemic.

500k tests


Police Accountability Reform

Following George Floyd’s killing over a month ago, Minnesotans have demanded action from state leaders to enact criminal justice reforms, strengthen police accountability, and break down systemic racism. During the recent special session, the House approved the Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020, a compressive proposal developed by the People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus with three goals: reclaim community oversight, reform accountability, and reimagine public safety. You can read a fact sheet about the legislation here.

Rather than stick around and do the hard work to reach an agreement on these necessary reforms, the Senate Republican Majority abruptly adjourned the special session, in effect walking away from a discussion Minnesotans – especially those from Black, Indigenous, and communities of color – can’t wait any longer for. This is a pivotal moment in our state, and I remain committed to getting these transformative changes across the finish line.


CARES Act Funding for Local Governments

Last week, Governor Walz announced a plan to deliver $841 million in federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to Minnesota’s cities, counties, and towns. Under the formula, St. Louis County will receive $24.5 million and the city of Duluth will receive $6.5 million. Once the Legislative Advisory Commission approves the plan, funds will be distributed on a rolling basis beginning this week. More information is available here from the Department of Revenue.

Minnesotans depend on a variety of public services from cities and counties, including public health support. Especially during a pandemic, it’s critical that they receive these dollars. As part of the package, the governor also announced $12 million in CARES Act funding will be allocated toward food shelves and food banks to help combat hunger across Minnesota.


Age Friendly Minnesota Survey

Last December, Governor Walz established the Council on an Age Friendly Minnesota with the goal of making Minnesota the best state to live in at any age. Earlier this year, the number of Minnesotans aged 65 or older surpassed the number of school age children in our state for the first time.

AARP is gathering feedback from Minnesota residents on how our state and Minnesota communities can do an even better job supporting people as they age. The AARP community survey seeks to inform the work of the Governor’s Council on an Age Friendly Minnesota, which is working to drive coordinated action across state agencies and move Minnesota toward being a more livable, age friendly state.

The full survey can be found here and can be taken by individual Minnesota residents, age 45+ through July 3, 2020.

Please continue to stay in touch. My email is rep.jennifer.schultz@house.mn and phone number is 651-296-2228. It’s an honor to represent you.

Sincerely,

Jen Schultz
State Representative