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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ami Wazlawik (DFL)

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Legislative Update - Expanding Health Care Access

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Dear neighbors,

My colleagues and I are working hard to address the challenges Minnesotans are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A week ago, we passed a bipartisan bill that holds 2021 Unemployment Insurance experience ratings constant. Without this legislation, small businesses would face massive increases in their Unemployment Insurance taxes due to the significant number of layoffs that occurred during the pandemic. Governor Walz signed the bill into law on Friday. I’m glad we were able to provide some good news and support for our small businesses during these difficult times.  

Expanding Access to Health Care 

Our families, communities, and economy are stronger when everyone has access to affordable, high-quality health care. House DFLers recently introduced a plan to expand health care access by opening up MinnesotaCare. Currently, Minnesotans must meet income guidelines to enroll in this program, which started as a bipartisan initiative in 1992 and now provides coverage for approximately 92,000 people. Our plan would make it an option for everyone. Minnesotans beyond the current income guidelines could enroll in MinnesotaCare, paying premiums on a sliding, income-based scale. Those who opt-in could take advantage of lower out-of-pocket costs and access to a strong network of providers.  

In addition, the bill allows small employers to offer MinnesotaCare coverage to their employees and contribute toward the full cost of their premiums. This would help small businesses who want to offer benefits to their workers but often find coverage unaffordable. The MinnesotaCare Public Option will help more Minnesotans get the care they need, and I’m proud to support it. 


Addressing the Climate Crisis  

We are in the middle of a climate crisis, and Minnesotans are already seeing impacts on public health, our environment, weather, and more. To protect our planet for future generations, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy. This session, I’m co-authoring legislation to help Minnesota transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2040. I’m also supporting bills that will help households and businesses save money by improving energy efficiency, require utilities to prioritize clean energy when replacing or adding power, and make existing buildings more energy efficient. These measures will create well-paying jobs, reduce pollution, and help mitigate the effects of climate change.  

If you have any questions or comments, the best way to contact me is sending an email to or calling 651-296-3018. I look forward to hearing from you!  


Ami Wazlawik  
State Representative