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

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Nursing Mother Legislation and Booster Information

Friday, November 19, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you are embracing the cold weather as we head towards the holiday season!

Last week my legislation, which ensures nursing mothers receive paid breaks to pump breast milk, was featured on WCCO. This is incredibly important legislation which will help improve gender equity across the state. Breastfeeding is a part of working moms’ lives, and to devalue that is to devalue nursing mothers. This is the kind of legislation I will continue to fight for as we head into the 2022 session.

Booster Update

COVID-19 cases are rising at an alarming rate across the state with the positivity rate now over 10%, the highest in the nation and the highest we’ve seen since last fall. Hospitals are reaching their capacity and we are seeing increased breakthrough cases. Booster shots are now available and in order to receive as much protection as possible, you should get one if eligible. It is likely that as soon as this week, everyone will be able to get a booster shot. For now here is how you qualify:

Find a booster here. Remember, if you feel sick, stay home, and if you are concerned that it may be COVID-19, get tested. You can find testing locations here, and you can find your vaccination here.

Vaccination Incentives
Governor Walz announced a list of Minnesota experiences that will be awarded to weekly drawing winners of the ‘Kids Deserve a Shot’ vaccine incentives campaign. These are designed to encourage 12-17 year olds to roll up their sleeves and get fully vaccinated. Some of the incentives include:

  • $200 Visa gift card
  • Tickets to several events and activities across the state
  • Five drawings for $100,000 Minnesota college scholarships

Parents or guardians must enter their 12-17 year old after they have received their second vaccine by November 30. Minnesota experiences will be divided up and drawn across all five drawing weeks from November 19 — December 17. You can refer to the official drawing rules online to see which experiences will be drawn each week.

COVID-19 vaccine is now recommended for children aged 5 to 11! 
This is good news for Minnesota families. Vaccination is the best way to protect your child and the people around them. It has been shown to be safe and effective. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds is located at vaccination sites across the state. Learn more about the vaccine and find a vaccination location near you.

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Volunteer Drivers

Earlier this fall I joined the Volunteer Driver Coalition to celebrate the passage of legislation which reduces the barriers to people volunteering to drive for essential services. We successfully passed two bills this last session. The first clarifies the role of a volunteer vs.

“for-hire” driver, and the second creates a state income tax subtraction for volunteer mileage reimbursement. Hundreds of volunteer drivers throughout the state providing essential services to thousands of Minnesotans who are unable to drive. Besides delivering meals to older adults and adults with disabilities, volunteers provide door-to-door service to the grocery store, doctor’s office, pharmacy and community events. One-on-one transportation also provides an emotional lift – eliminating physical barriers to the community and increasing socialization.

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Capitol Pathways

The deadline to apply for the Capitol Pathways program is tomorrow at midnight!

Capitol Pathways is a paid spring internship program for college students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). With the long-term goal of making our government truly representative of our diverse communities, the program opens access to the Minnesota Capitol and policymaking to the next generation of BIPOC leaders. Through this program, students gain leadership, legislative and professional development training alongside an immersive hands-on paid internship experience with an organization working in policy during the legislative session. This is a spring 2022 internship from January – May 2022. Apply here.

Keep in Touch:

You can contact me at rep.erin.koegel@house.mn or (651) 296-5369. You can also follow me on Facebook as well! 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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