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

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Minnesota's Vaccine Connector

Friday, March 05, 2021

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors, 

We’ve recently received a lot of helpful information for Minnesotans when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re still several months away from supplies being at a level where everyone who wants one can get one, but we now have a clearer timeline of when we can expect to get our first dose - based on one’s age, occupation, and underlying health conditions.

Minnesotans age 65 and older will continue to be vaccinated, and we’re on track to vaccinate 70% of those in this group by the end of March, after which the vaccine will become eligible for targeted essential workers and those with specific high-risk conditions. More Minnesotans will become eligible throughout spring, with the vaccine expected to be available to the general public this summer. Check the timeline to see when you or your loved ones may be eligible

Regardless of when you’ll receive the vaccine, I highly recommend signing up for Minnesota’s Vaccine Connector.

connector

By signing up, the Connector will: 

  • alert you when you are eligible to receive a vaccine; 
  • connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment; and 
  • notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area. 

If you’ve already registered for the COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program or the COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program, you’re already included in this database. In the meantime, it’s important that we continue to follow public health guidelines to keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy. 

 


 

Explore Minnesota

With more Minnesotans receiving the vaccine every day, there’s reason to be optimistic about this summer. As our state begins to heal, part of the process of economic recovery will be through Minnesota’s tourism industry, which is why I’ve introduced bipartisan legislation to invest in Explore Minnesota, the state’s official tourism office. This prudent investment will provide a boost to Minnesota’s tourism industry as we gradually prepare to get through this pandemic and bounce back afterwards. Minnesota is not only a great state to live and work, but also play. I look forward to the day when we can once again safely enjoy everything our state has to offer.

 


 

Other Legislation

Two other bills of mine that I’m very excited about would support our veterans and invest in clean energy.

HF 592 authorizes the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs to establish a veterans stable housing initiative that would provide resources and support to assist our veterans. The men and women who served our country deserve a safe and secure place to call home - all Minnesotans do - and this bill would give our state the tools necessary to quickly respond to veterans facing homelessness.

As we strive for a Minnesota committed to clean energy, another bill of mine (HF 1423) would install solar panels in our state parks, helping the buildings in our greenest spaces become less reliant on non-renewable energy. 

You can follow along on the other legislation I’m authoring or co-authoring here, and feel free to reach out with any questions on these bills, or others you’d like me to work on!

 


 

Tax Write-offs for Teachers

As a former teacher, I know that it’s often the case that educators end up buying the supplies they need on their own, a stressor that has been exacerbated by the need for PPE during the pandemic. This year, the IRS announced that teachers who purchased COVID-19 protective equipment in 2019 can write them off on their 2020 taxes. 

COVID-19 protective items include, but are not limited to:

  • face masks;
  • disinfectant for use against COVID-19;
  • hand soap;
  • hand sanitizer;
  • disposable gloves;
  • tape, paint or chalk to guide social distancing;
  • physical barriers (for example, clear plexiglass);
  • air purifiers; and
  • other items recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be used for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Learn more here.

 


 

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 (rep.shelly.christensen@house.mn) or phone (651/296-4244). I appreciate hearing from you. 

Sincerely, 

 

Representative Shelly Christensen

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