On Monday, the Minnesota House and Senate convened for a second special session. My top priority this session is finding bipartisan compromises on issues that affect Minnesotans’ health and economic wellbeing, starting with COVID-19. We need to make sure critical services can continue during the pandemic. For example, we’re working on legislation to support providers who serve Minnesotans with disabilities. . I’m committed to ensuring all Minnesotans can access the support they need.
Police accountability and criminal justice reform is also at the top of our list. The murder of George Floyd shouldn’t have happened, and Minnesotans are calling for meaningful changes to prevent anything like it from happening again. The time is now to pass commonsense solutions like those included in the Minnesota Police Accountability Act of 2020. If we all commit to putting people before politics, there’s no reason we can’t pass legislation to help ensure everyone can be safe in their communities.
We hope to pass a strong Jobs and Local Projects bill as well. This legislation, often called the bonding bill, invests in public infrastructure. It funds priorities like clean water, roads and bridges, higher education, parks and trails, and more. These investments will create good-paying jobs, which would help our economy recover.
On Tuesday, Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan announced that $100 million of funding from the federal CARES Act will be invested in housing assistance. The new program created with this funding will prevent evictions and homelessness and help individuals and families impacted by COVID-19 maintain housing stability. Minnesotans will be able to apply for assistance in August. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency is accepting applications from local organizations who’d like to help administer the program until July 22. You can find more details here.
The City of White Bear Lake will require masks in indoor spaces that are open to the public starting tomorrow, July 17. More information is available below and at whitebearlake.org/masks.
If you haven’t responded to the Census, please take a few minutes to respond and remind your family and friends to do the same. Census data determines how billions of dollars in federal funding is allocated and impacts representation at the local, state, and national level. Your response helps ensure that we get our fair share of funding for schools, roads and bridges, emergency services, public safety, and more. We also need a strong count to keep Minnesota’s eight Congressional seats because we’re on the verge of losing one of them due to population trends.
Minnesota is currently leading the nation with a 71.5 percent census response rate! You can help maintain our lead by responding online here, by phone, or by mail. If you haven’t responded yet, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible so census workers won’t need to visit your home. More responses means fewer census workers will have to go door to door during the pandemic.
This will be my last legislative update until after the election. Legislators cannot use state resources for unsolicited communications during an election period because it might create an unfair advantage. While I won’t be able to send weekly emails for awhile, you can still follow me on Facebook here. I’m still available to answer questions and discuss issues that are important to our community. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com or give me a call at 651-296-3018.