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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michelle (Shelly) Christensen (DFL)

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Earned Sick & Safe Time

Friday, February 12, 2021

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors, 

As we continue to experience sub-zero temperatures this weekend, I want to make sure those in our community who are eligible are aware of Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program. This program, which helped nearly 118,000 Minnesota households pay their heating bills last year, accepts applications until May 31.

The Energy Assistance Program serves households that earn less than $54,357 for a household of four or $28,266 for a household of one. It helps income-qualifying homeowners and renters with heating bills through grants paid directly to utility companies or heating fuel vendors. If you’re eligible, you can apply for assistance with your service provider. Call 800-657-3710, and press 1, or visit the Commerce Department’s Energy Assistance Program webpage. Funding is limited and administered on a first-come, first-served basis.



Earned Sick and Safe Time

This COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the importance of staying home when you are sick - it remains one of the simplest and most effective measures in slowing the spread of this and other viruses. While calling in sick isn’t an issue for some, there are many in our community who would lose money they depend on if they took this action to keep their coworkers healthy.

Earned Sick and Safe Time

No one should have to choose between caring for themselves or a loved one and a paycheck, which is why I’m co-authoring a new bill to expand Earned Sick and Safe Time. The legislation aims to provide an important short-term benefit to workers by allowing them to accrue sick time based on the number of hours worked. This requirement has several key additional benefits, including healthier workplaces and schools, greater support for caregivers, and reduced health care costs.



MNSure Special Enrollment Period

Minnesota's health insurance marketplace, MNSure, will be open for a special enrollment period, starting February 16 through May 17, 2021. Certain life changes like moving, having a baby, getting married, or turning 26 allows for the special enrollment period to occur. Minnesota residents and families deserve access to quality, affordable health care. It’s critical, now more than ever, for everyone to have insurance. Learn about how to enroll here.



Black History Month

This Black History Month, I reflect on last year’s pain, but also celebrate the steps that have already been taken. For one, I’m incredibly honored to serve in the most diverse Minnesota Legislature in state history, and this week, my colleagues in the United Black Legislative Caucus announced their priorities aimed at addressing racial disparities in economic opportunity, housing, education, health and human services, public safety, transportation, and environmental justice. You can watch their announcement here.


For an illuminating look at the disparities in our state I encourage you to read the House Select Committee on Racial Justice’s report on racial justice in MN, here. I also encourage you to read the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus’ statement on Black History Month



Stay Connected

Though you’re still unable to observe the legislative process in person, we’ve increased the number of available livestreams on the House of Representatives webpage to ensure the public is able to watch all of our committee hearings and floor sessions, which you can access here. You can also “like” and follow my official Facebook page

If you have any questions or comments for me, the best way to touch base is through email ( or phone (651/296-4244). I appreciate hearing from you. 



Representative Shelly Christensen

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