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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Erin Koegel (DFL)

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First Week of the 2021 Session

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Even though it has felt like we have been in a perpetual session for the past year, this week is the official beginning of the 2021 session. I am honored to return to the Capitol where I will continue to advocate for your needs. COVID-19 will continue to play a significant role in how we approach legislating this year, and while we are a split legislature once more I am hopeful that we will be able to accomplish a lot of good.

I am truly heartbroken by the wave of mob violence and destruction at our nation’s Capitol. Violence is never an answer, and the rhetoric and misinformation that leads to this kind of violence should be condemned as well. On a positive note, I am confident in our institutions here in Minnesota and I know that we will be able to govern safely, with respect and decency.

Walz Announces New Covid-19 Protocols

Thanks to your collective sacrifice and willingness to dial back during the holidays, Minnesota has seen a sharp drop in the amount of Covid-19 cases. As a result, Governor Walz announced yesterday that several restrictions on certain activities and sectors will be loosened. While this is certainly encouraging news, please remember that an open Minnesota is a privilege and one we must all work for. Please continue to mask up, get tested, stay home when sick, and avoid large gatherings of people from separate households. Here are the new rules:

  • 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 by 10 p.m.
  • Gym capacity remains capped at 25 percent but maximum capacity increases to 150. Machines and people should maintain 12 feet of distance. Classes increase to 25 people, assuming distancing can be observed. Everyone must be masked.
  • 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, or no more than 150 people. Masks required. No food service after 10 p.m.
  • Youth and adult organized sports have resumed practice as of Jan. 4 and games resume Jan. 14 with spectators. Inter-region tournaments and out of state play are discouraged.
  • Pools opened Jan. 4 for some activity and may now open, like gyms, at 25 percent capacity.

Dial update

Committee Assignments & Tracking the 2021 Session

Here are the committees I will serve on this year:

  • Workforce and Business Development Finance & Policy
  • Transportation Finance & Policy (Vice Chair)
  • Preventing Homelessness Division
  • Commerce Finance & Policy

As we continue to operate remotely instead of physically at the Capitol under recommended public health guidelines, it’s important that we ensure openness and transparency for the public. The House is expanding the number of simultaneous committees it can?webcast live?from a maximum of two to five. You can use the link above to find the committee hearing you are interested in watching.  

The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. You can subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website here.  

My updates from the Capitol are another great way to stay connected and respond with your input. If you haven’t subscribed or would like to receive my email newsletters please share this link with you neighbors, coworkers, and friends.

Keep in Touch:

You can contact me at rep.erin.koegel@house.mn or (651) 296-5369. I appreciate the opportunity to serve our district in the legislature and look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Erin Koegel
State Representative

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