Yesterday, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan announced the expansion of vaccine eligibility for people 16 years of age and older starting March 30th. The announcement is in response to the increased supply of vaccines by the federal government to arrive in April. This is fantastic news and a clear sign that we are entering the final stretch of fighting this vaccine. Read more about this development here.
If you haven’t yet, sign up for the state’s Vaccine Connector to get connected with opportunities once you’re eligible.
This week was busy for us as we moved to pass significant legislation that would meet the needs of workers, families, and first responders who sacrificed the most over the last year to protect their communities. It’s not enough to call these folks heroes and credit them for all they’ve done, we must also back our words with action. Here is some of the legislation we passed this week to help Minnesota’s heroes emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic.
HF 1064, or the Summer Learning Plan, will provide funding for summer programs to help prevent learning loss and close the opportunity gaps that have widened over the last year. This necessary funding will strengthen our schools to ensure our children can thrive.
HF 1203 will ensure that first responders receive workers compensation should they contract COVID-19. All public safety and health care workers deserve to know that their needs will be taken care of.
HF 7 will create a statewide earned sick and safe time program. This last year has shown us the true public health value of letting folks stay home when they feel sick, or need time to care for a loved one. This bill will have positive benefits for the health and well-being of Minnesotans across the state while reducing the costs.
HF 39 will improve the retention and rehire process for hospitality and service sector workers. If you were laid off through no fault of your own over this last year, you deserve to return to it. Women and people of color in the hospitality and service sector industry were most affected by lay-offs last year. Ensuring we have rehiring and retention protections for them when the pandemic is over is an equity issue.
HF 403, or the Preventing Discrimination Act, will prevent employers from inquiring about past pay. Your previous jobs shouldn’t dictate your pay for the rest of your life. This is a practice that exacerbates the gender pay gap. It’s time to break the cycle of discrimination.
Stay in Touch
Please reach out to my office if you need assistance with anything. I am best reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or please contact my legislative assistant Josh, email@example.com. I always appreciate hearing from you. You can also follow along on my official Facebook page here.
Rep. Samantha Vang