As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to outline some of the significant legislation that we passed this year and invite you to share ideas and feedback ahead of the upcoming legislative session. Your comments are instrumental in crafting new legislation and will help us hit the ground running when the next session begins on January 5.
Here’s a summary of some of the important legislation we passed this year:
COVID-19 preparedness: When COVID-19 arrived in Minnesota, we came together to ensure that our public health infrastructure and health care workforce were prepared to mount an aggressive response and were able to provide care for Minnesotans who needed it.
Economic assistance for workers, families, and businesses: Throughout the pandemic, we’ve delivered economic assistance for Minnesotans. We’ve provided funding for housing assistance, food security, small business loans, child care grants, support for veterans, and more. Our latest assistance package included $216 million of aid for small businesses and extended unemployment benefits for workers.
Workers’ compensation for first responders: We ensured that nurses, firefighters, paramedics, police officers, child care providers, corrections officers, and health care professionals can receive workers’ compensation benefits if they contract COVID-19.
Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act: We passed legislation that provides emergency access to insulin and makes the lifesaving medication more affordable long-term. It holds insulin manufacturers accountable for inflating costs by requiring them to provide funding for the program.
Minnesota Police Accountability Act: After the tragic death of George Floyd, we worked in a bipartisan manner to improve police accountability in our state. This legislation is a good first step towards ensuring that all Minnesotans feel safe in their communities.
Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act: Under this new law, drug manufacturers are required to make their pricing information public. This legislation will improve accountability and build public pressure to drive down the cost of prescription drugs.
Local Jobs, Projects, and Economic Development bill: We invested in public infrastructure projects that will create thousands of jobs, improve public safety, and strengthen communities across the state. Bills I authored to complete the Lake Links Trail and fund preliminary work on the 35E/County Road J interchange were included in this legislation.
TCE ban: Thanks to a bill that I authored and the hard work of the White Bear Area Neighborhood Concerned Citizens Group and many others, Minnesota became the first state to ban trichloroethylene (TCE), a toxic chemical that can increase risks for certain types of cancer and other serious health issues.
While we’ve been able to accomplish a great deal under difficult circumstances, there is still much more work to be done. My colleagues and I are committed to addressing the challenges Minnesotans are facing and building a brighter future – through the pandemic and beyond.
This year was one of the most trying times that we’ve experienced. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The first COVID-19 vaccines were administered last week, and they’re expected to be publicly available in a few months. While there are still difficult days ahead, I remain confident that we can face and overcome any obstacle together. Seeing Minnesotans caring for one another, calling out injustices, and working together to strengthen our communities despite all of the difficulties we’ve faced over the past year gives me hope for the future.
Stay in Touch
The holidays look different for many of us this year. No matter how you’re celebrating, I wish you and your loved ones a joyful and healthy holiday season. Please stay safe and well.
As always, please reach out if you have questions or input or if I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-3018.