Tomorrow, at 6pm, I’ll be holding a virtual town hall alongside my District 59 colleagues - Sen. Bobby Joe Champion and Rep. Esther Agbaje. We’re well into the legislative interim now, and we look forward to your questions and discussion on our work at the state capitol this year, and the work that remains. We want to hear from you, and you can register and submit questions in advance here.
Due to Republican obstructionism, a lot of important things were left on the table - which we’ll discuss - but this year wasn’t without several significant accomplishments. Among other things, we successfully fought for the following:
I’m proud of these successes, but more is needed to help the working families struggling to pay for childcare, students who need more mental health support, communities that require resources to improve public safety, and additional investments to give our state the jumpstart it needs to fully recover from the struggles of the last few years and thrive.
That’s what I’ll continue working toward. Here’s an update on the latest news and resources for our community.
Frontline Worker Pay - Applications Closing Friday
One of the more significant accomplishments from this session was the investment of $500 million in bonuses for the frontline workers who kept our state running during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and more are eligible for this bonus. This Friday, July 22 is the deadline to submit an application. Learn more and apply at frontlinepay.mn.gov.
Last week, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was launched. The hotline, transitioning from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline with a shorter, easier-to-remember number, will connect people in crisis with trained counselors. Federal funding is supporting the new service, which will close a significant gap in mental health services. Traditional responses to 911 calls, such as law enforcement, aren’t uniquely equipped to respond to mental health crises.
Crisis workers are available at the three-digit number 24/7 and can connect callers to additional support or in-person care. The service is free and confidential.
Veterans Service Bonus
This year's Veterans and Military Affairs bill included another bonus - this one for those who’ve courageously served our nation. In addition to investments that address veteran homelessness, the bill also included funding to recognize post-9/11-era veterans and Gold Star Families with service bonuses of up to $2,000.
There are approximately 48,000 eligible veterans, over half of whom deployed to combat operations including those in Afghanistan or Iraq. We have a long history of awarding service bonuses to Minnesota Veterans who served in America’s wars. Starting in 1919 after World War I, through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terrorism.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is facilitating the program. The application is now open. You can learn more here.
After this week, incumbent legislators are no longer allowed to send communications like these updates via email or postal mail until after the 2022 Election. I am still able to respond to your questions on our legislative work, and I invite you to contact me directly with your input, feedback, or if I can ever be of assistance regarding a community or state issue.
You can contact me at 651-296-4262 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!