It’s another busy week at the Minnesota Legislature. Committees are discussing key issues, lawmakers are crafting and refining bills, and the process of developing our state budget has begun.
Protecting Minnesotans from Harmful Chemicals
Yesterday, I joined the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to announce a statewide strategy to protect Minnesotans from per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down, PFAS can build up in the environment and in our bodies and lead to negative health affects.
The plan, which was developed by several state agencies, includes multiple strategies to prevent PFAS contamination and ensure polluted sites are cleaned up. One of the top priorities is passing my bill to designate PFAS as hazardous substances. Other priorities include requiring facilities to disclose information on PFAS and other contaminants, identifying potential sources of PFAS in the environment, protecting Minnesotans from contaminated fish, and evaluating potential treatment options for drinking water and farm land. You can find more information, including the full list of recommendations, here.
Young people deserve to be heard at the Capitol. As legislators, our goal is to make Minnesota a place where everyone can thrive for generations to come. Inviting the next generation of Minnesotans to join us at the table and share their ideas will help make that vision a reality.
I was recently appointed to serve as the legislative liaison to the Minnesota Youth Council, a group that examines issues that impact young people and provides advice to the Legislature and the Governor. The council uses youth-led outreach, education, and advocacy to get middle school and high school students engaged and amplify their voices. I am excited to work with young Minnesotans across the state!
Vaccine Distribution Update
COVID-19 trends in Minnesota are headed in the right direction, with case numbers and positivity rates trending downward. The vaccination process is improving as well. The federal government is gradually increasing the supply of doses, and the state is adapting the process to ensure that the vaccines we receive are distributed more effectively and equitably. So far, 599,218 Minnesotans have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 117,239 have completed the series. More information is available on the state’s Vaccine Data Dashboard.
Health care workers and long-term care residents and staff will continue receiving the vaccine through their workplace, care facility, or local public health department. Educators, school staff, and child care workers will receive information from their employers. Minnesotans who are 65 or older can use this tool to find nearby vaccine providers and make an appointment.
We all want the battle with COVID-19 to end, but threats remain, including new variants of the virus. Please continue wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home if you’re sick so we can close this chapter as quickly and safely as possible.
Make Your Voice Heard
Apply for White Bear Lake’s Housing Task Force
If you’d like to shape the future of housing in White Bear Lake, I encourage you to apply for the city’s new Housing Task Force. Task force members will help the City Council vet project proposals and meet White Bear Lake’s short- and long-term housing needs. Applications are due at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, March 1.
If you have any questions or comments on our work, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call at 651-296-3018. I look forward to hearing from you!