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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kelly Morrison (DFL)

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Legislative Update- April 16, 2020

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Rep. Morrison

 

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy the sunshine, despite our brisk start to April.

First and foremost, I wanted to let you know that early this week, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development implemented a 13-week extension to Unemployment Insurance. In addition, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which will provide unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals, independent contractors, gig workers and others will be operational by end of April. If your UI benefits have been exhausted, you are encouraged to re-apply at DEED’s website. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need assistance applying.


Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act Signed into Law

Yesterday, Governor Walz signed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act into law. The new landmark law will ensure that Minnesotans who cannot afford their insulin and are facing an emergency need can access a 30-day supply at their pharmacy for a co-pay of $35. Eligible Minnesotans include those who are uninsured, under-insured, receiving Medicare and do not have access to low co-pays. The legislation also streamlines the process by which Minnesotans can access affordable insulin in the long-term. Insulin manufacturers would participate in the program.

Although this is long overdue, I was grateful for the opportunity to have contributed to the bipartisan compromise.


 

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I was proud to serve on the Conference Committee that crafted the final bill language. Here I am signing the Conference Committee report.


 

Minnesota Legislature Passes 4th Package of Emergency COVID-19

The House and Senate approved a 4th package of bills to address COVID-19 daily disruptions to Minnesotans during the pandemic. These focus on policy adjustments to help Minnesotans adapt. Measures passed include additional support to help Minnesotans execute wills, allow local governments to meet remotely, suspend certain deadlines and expiration dates, expand use of telemedicine, allow Minnesotans to apply for marriage licenses during the peacetime emergency without appearing in person, and more. You can read an overview of the legislation from the nonpartisan office of House Public Information.


COVID-19 Modeling

Last Friday, the Minnesota Department of Health and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health made information regarding their COVID-19 modeling available to the public. Data from these models has driven Governor Walz and his administration’s response to the pandemic. The model predicts the peak of the epidemic (when the highest number of people have the condition), how many people that will be, and when we’re projected to exceed ICU bed capacity.

You can find information, including slides from their presentation and frequently asked questions, here.


Pushing Back Against Dangerous Rhetoric & Misinformation

Today I participated in a remote press conference with my legislative doctor colleagues, Dr. Alice Mann of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Dr. Matt Klein of the Minnesota Senate, to discuss the importance of slowing the spread of COVID-19 and building capacity to meet the surge so that our economy can reopen. You can read more about our response to the dangerous rhetoric and misinformation that’s been circulating across the state and country here.


Lawns to Legumes

It’s a great time to start planning how to transform your lawn or patch of grass into a pollinator friendly habitat! Check out this article about how we can protect pollinators.

To learn more about the new Lawns to Legumes program I passed into law last year, visit the Board of Water and Soil Resources’ website. Applications are being accepted through June 2.


Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime with questions, or to let me know how I can help. I appreciate your input. My email address is rep.kelly.morrison@house.mn.

Thank you for the honor of serving our communities at the state legislature.

Sincerely,

Kelly