On Tuesday, Governor Walz announced that 70 percent of Minnesotans who are 65 or older will be vaccinated by the end of the week. Since we’re poised to reach this goal two weeks earlier than anticipated, the state expanded eligibility and started the next phase of the vaccination plan yesterday.
More than 1.8 million Minnesotans are now eligible to receive a vaccine, including:
These groups will receive priority, but providers may offer available appointments to others who are eligible, including Minnesotans from the next tier:
If you haven’t yet, I’d encourage you to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, your employer will have more information on vaccine availability, and it’s a good idea to be in touch with your health care provider too. Vaccine supplies from the federal government are increasing, and this progress represents one more step towards the end of the pandemic.
Protecting Minnesotans from Harmful Chemicals
I presented two bills to the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee today. One bill requires the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to hold a public meeting with Minnesotans – including those who may have been put at risk – before finalizing agreements with facilities that violate environmental rules and regulations. If this legislation had been adopted before the Water Gremlin situation arose, our community would’ve had the opportunity to participate in the settlement process. The other bill requires certain facilities that emit hazardous air pollutants or certain chemicals of concern to undergo more frequent and rigorous testing. It also expands reporting requirements for these facilities. The goal is to ensure compliance and identify potential issues as quickly as possible. The committee voted to advance both of my bills.
Preserving Minnesota History
Yesterday, the Legacy Finance Committee heard a bill I authored to support the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) with revenue from the state’s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. Under this legislation, $48 million will be appropriated to support MHS’s programming and partnerships; the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program, which provides grants to nonprofits, educational organizations, local governments, and tribes across the state; survey work at historical and archaeological sites; and the Minnesota Digital Library, an ongoing effort to digitize the state’s many resources. These investments will help preserve Minnesota’s rich history and culture for current and future generations.
White Bear Lake Area Schools Selected for YST Grant
White Bear Lake Area Schools was recently selected for a $95,000 grant from the Youth Skills Training (YST) Program! This funding will help the school district partner with local employers to create meaningful work experiences in the automotive industry. Students who participate will receive exposure to the industry, related classroom instruction, safety training, industry-recognized credentials, and paid work experience.
Make Your Voice Heard
Take My Legislative Survey
It’s important to me to have as much input as possible as I advocate for our community. I’m grateful for all of the feedback I’ve received this year through email and phone calls, during meetings, and on social media. This week, I’m kicking off my 2021 legislative survey – a new way to share your thoughts! Please take a few minutes to share any concerns or challenges you have, as well as your vision for the future.
As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if I can ever be of assistance. Thank you for the opportunity to serve our community.