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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lisa Demuth (R)

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Legislative update

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Dear Neighbor, 

Congratulations to Louis Industries for receiving approval from the Paynesville City Council on its application to the state’s Job Creation Fund. Louis Industries is one of Paynesville’s top employers and it is looking to significantly expand. Great news for an important business in our local economy!

Here is a roundup of this week’s notes from the Capitol:

PPP seminar THIS FRIDAY for minority biz/non-profits

If you have questions on whether the Paycheck Protection Program is right for your Black, Indigenous and People of Color business or non-profit, a virtual seminar will take place 1 p.m. Friday (tomorrow) to discuss this topic.

Join the Small Business Association’s Minnesota District Office and community-based lenders the Community Reinvestment Fund and Meda to hear first-hand from two organizations helping underserved populations access needed capital during this critical time.

The goal of this event is to increase your PPP comfort level during this practical discussion, learn best practices to increase your chances of success, and have your questions answered by those working in your communities. You can register for the seminar at this link.

Heating assistance 

As Minnesotans continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 and the quarantine, there is still assistance available to income eligible households (both owners and renters) for home heating bills and furnace repairs. The state’s Energy Assistance Program can help by providing financial assistance, such as: 

  • To pay past due energy bills to avoid disconnection 
  • To purchase fuel for delivery in emergencies 
  • To repair or replace homeowners’ malfunctioning furnaces

The application period is open until May 31 this year and you can find more information and links to apply at the Minnesota Department of Commerce website.

Filing comments on Calif. Cars in Minn. 

In a previous newsletter, I mentioned the governor is using the administrative rulemaking process in an effort to mandate California’s auto-emission standards on vehicles sold in Minnesota. This issue would have dramatic consequences for Minnesotans and yet is taking place without the benefit of the legislative process to examine the issue and ask the tough questions.  

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has scheduled a few public information sessions to discuss the governor’s initiative, but this is no substitute for a complete set of legislative hearings where citizens can exercise their voice. The next sessions are 3 p.m. Feb. 22-23 and you can click here for more. Also, prior to adopting the new rules, there is a public comment period running through March 15. People can learn more or submit their comments here.

Black History Month

Black History Month 

February is Black History Month and, in commemoration, I would like to share the above graphic and the below details regarding each of the following influential people who are featured in the image: 

  • B- Minnesota Jazz Legend James ‘Cornbread’ Harris Sr. 
  • L -Lena Smith First Minnesota’s first African American Attorney 
  • A - African Art theme from Minnesota Historical Society “Black History Black Voices” 
  • C - John Cotton, left, was an outstanding athlete and second baseman for the Twin City Gophers, his Marshall Senior High School team, and other professional teams in the 1940s and ’50s. He and Lloyd “Dulov” Hogan, right, and the other unidentified player in this photo were part of the thriving black baseball scene in Minnesota in the middle of the twentieth century. Photo courtesy of the Cotton family. Photo restoration by Lori Gleason. 
  • K- Exhibit Curator Amoke Kubat poses for a portrait in the Weisman Art Museum on Saturday, Feb. 15. Yo Mama’s House, an artist, activist and healer cooperative, is celebrating Black History Month and Women’s History Month with this pop-up display. (Emily Urfer/Minnesota Daily) 

COVID-19 vaccines 

While the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been less than smooth overall in Minnesota, it is encouraging to see reports that reductions in COVID-19 cases could be an early sign of the vaccines’ positive impact so far. A Star Tribune article from this week indicates a drop in COVID-19 cases among congregate care residents in Minnesota might be the first encouraging sign of payoff. The story indicates hospitals reported on Tuesday that they had 394 total COVID-19 patients admitted to inpatient beds, including 84 who needed intensive care. By comparison, hospitals had 399 patients just in intensive care on Dec. 1. 

As for the vaccination process itself, approaches and procedures seem to be changing by the day. Please visit the Find My Vaccine site or call (833) 431-2053 for the latest details. 

Have a good weekend and, as always, your input is appreciated. 



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