Today, Governor Walz announced that the stay at home order will remain in effect until Monday, May 18. The extended order has been modified to get more Minnesotans safely back to work. Starting on May 4, retail shops and non-critical businesses can start offering curbside pickup and delivery. More details are available here.
Our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 are working. People are staying home, staying safe, and giving public health officials time to prepare for the worst of the pandemic. We need to stick with it while increasing our state’s ability to test, trace, and isolate cases. This is the best way to keep Minnesotans safe as we start reopening parts of our economy and society.
We’re one step closer to banning the use of trichloroethylene (TCE) in Minnesota. Today, the Senate passed a strong TCE ban that we’ve been working hard on for the past 15+ months. Special thanks to folks from the White Bear Area Neighborhood Concerned Citizens Group, who’ve spent countless hours working with us to craft a bill that bans the toxic chemical and protects the health of Minnesotans. I’m proud to see all the work we’ve done together paying off.
My colleagues and I are working closely with Governor Walz to better support Minnesotans during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the priorities that we’re advocating for:
Investing in housing assistance so Minnesotans can stay safe in their homes. Governor Walz’s moratorium on evictions and foreclosures was an important start, but we need to do more to assist renters and homeowners. My colleagues and I support investing $100 million in housing assistance to help Minnesotans make rent and mortgage payments during the pandemic. You can read more about our housing assistance bill here.
Providing economic security for hourly school employees by ensuring full pay. Paraprofessionals, nutrition services staff, child care workers, bus drivers and other hourly/frontline school employees are vital to our education system. We need to protect their economic security by passing legislation to ensure that they continue to get paid through the end of the school year. More information about this legislation is available here.
Helping people make ends meet by using available federal funding to boost payments for low-income Minnesotans. All Minnesotans deserve economic security. Unfortunately, those who are least likely to have it are being hit hardest by this public health crisis. We’re advocating to boost payments for low-income working Minnesotans in the Minnesota Family Investment Program so they can make ends meet and continue moving towards financial stability. You can find more details here.
Expanding mail-in voting options so Minnesotans can vote safely. Voters in other states are being forced to choose between exercising their right to vote and protecting their health. It’s our responsibility to ensure that doesn’t happen in Minnesota. We need to expand mail-in voting so every eligible voter has the opportunity to vote without putting their health at risk. More information about the vote-by-mail bill can be found here.
Supporting small businesses with targeted, forgivable loans. We know that many businesses are struggling right now. That’s why we’re working to provide targeted, forgivable loans to small businesses across the state so they can keep operating as part of their communities when this is all over. You can read more about our bill for small businesses here.
Keeping people connected by ensuring all Minnesotans have access to broadband. In today’s global economy, broadband internet is a necessity – and its importance is magnified during this pandemic. We’ve made progress in this area, but there are still far too many communities that don’t have adequate access to broadband. We are advocating for broadband investments so that all Minnesotans, especially students, can work and connect with others. Additional information about the broadband expansion bill is available here.
Increasing wages for personal care attendants who care for vulnerable Minnesotans. Personal care attendants (PCAs) care for the most vulnerable among us. COVID-19 has created new challenges for these workers, most of whom were already overworked and underpaid. We need to support our PCAs with a well-deserved wage increase. More details can be found here.
Expanding COVID-19 testing and treatment. Increasing our ability to test, trace, and isolate COVID-19 cases will help keep Minnesotans safe in the days, weeks, and months ahead. We’ll continue working with Governor Walz and public health experts to expand our testing and treatment capacity as quickly as possible. You can read more about the work we’re doing together here.
White Bear Center for the Arts (WBCA)’s annual Heart4Art event is just around the corner. WBCA is providing free virtual Creative Care Packages every week until Heart4Art@Home takes place online on Thursday, May 14. You can participate in the event at any time that day. More information about Heart4Art@Home and the Creative Care Packages is available here.
Please continue sharing questions, feedback, and suggestions with me. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-3018.