I hope you and your family had a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July. My colleagues and I are preparing for a special session, which is likely to begin next week. During this session, we hope to reach bipartisan agreement on police accountability and criminal justice reform and ensure Minnesotans have the resources they need to make it through the pandemic. If you’d like to stay updated on what’s happening at the Legislature, you can follow along on my Facebook page here. Please reach out with any questions or feedback you may have.
Support for Child Care
On Tuesday, Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced a plan to utilize more than $56 million in federal funding to support child care providers. Minnesota’s child care system was struggling even before the pandemic, and many providers are experiencing increased costs and decreased revenue as a result of COVID-19. The Legislature has provided $30 million in emergency assistance and increased rates for child care assistance, but more support is needed to preserve our state’s family child care providers and child care centers. The new proposal will help child care providers keep their doors open so parents can work and children can continue receiving the high-quality care and learning that they deserve. More information about these child care grants will be available once the funding is approved by the Legislative Advisory Commission.
Funding to Combat Hunger
Yesterday, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor unveiled a plan to allocate $12 million of federal funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to combat hunger in Minnesota. Food shelves and food banks have seen a significant increase in demand since the pandemic began. This funding will help approximately 300 food shelves and Minnesota’s seven food banks meet that need. You can find more information about food assistance here.
On a related note, the deadline to apply for pandemic food benefits has been extended to July 31. More than 200,000 families have already applied for or received Pandemic-Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits, which help parents and guardians feed their children when they aren’t receiving school lunches. Families with children who received free or reduced-price school meals this year may receive up to $325 per child plus an additional $100 per child in August. You can learn more about P-EBT and apply here.
TCE Ban Receives National Attention
Minnesota’s TCE ban, which I championed and passed with help from community members, was recently included on a national list of notable legislative accomplishments! The National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL) put our bill at the top of a list of successful efforts to protect people from toxic chemicals. The entire list can be viewed here. It’s an honor to receive this recognition, and I remain committed to fighting for legislation that protects our health, environment, and communities.
Make Your Voice Heard
I have several engagement opportunities, including town halls, in the works. Please stay tuned for more information about these upcoming events. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-3018 if you have any questions or comments. It’s an honor to represent you, and I appreciate your input.