The House has passed all of our budget bills, and the next step will be working to reach an agreement with the Senate through conference committees. I’m honored to have been appointed to the conference committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety Budget bill to represent the House of Representatives. I’ll be working hard on a bill that includes important criminal justice system reform measures, along with stronger laws to provide justice to survivors of sexual assault.
Earlier this week, the Star Tribune published an op-ed in support of my bipartisan bill to make Minnesota schools “seizure smart” to protect Minnesota’s 7,000-plus students with epilepsy. The bill will ensure schools create seizure action plans and identify at least one employee who is present and trained on seizure recognition, response, and administration of seizure-rescue medication. This important legislation is part of the House E-12 budget package.
Thank you to Olivia Devaraj, a Minneapolis high school senior, for submitting the piece, which was the Star Tribune’s top-read commentary Wednesday on its website!
Through Tuesday, May 4, the community vaccination site at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds has COVID-19 vaccines available with no appointment necessary. Eligibility has been expanded to people 16 or older from all zip codes. All you have to do is show up. If you’d rather, you can set up an appointment online here.
If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to get vaccinated, please get a shot. Having as many people vaccinated as possible will help defeat the pandemic and return to normal.
Yesterday on the House Floor we passed a bill allowing Minnesota to join what’s known as the PSYPACT, an interstate compact allowing psychologists to practice telepsychology and conduct temporary in-person psychology across state boundaries. This would provide greater access to services, allowing psychologists to reach underserved or geographically isolated patients. It also allows for greater continuity of care when patients relocate or travel.
Currently, 16 other states are part of the compact. Over the last year we’ve recognized the value of telehealth services, and going forward, this is a great way to reach more people to address their mental health needs. The bill, of which I’m a co-author, passed the floor with unanimous support and is also moving in the Senate.
On Monday, the House passed its last major budget package, the Health and Human Services bill. The budget strengthens our public health systems (which we’ve greatly relied upon during COVID-19), addresses health inequities, makes prescription drugs more affordable, and expands coverage for low-income Minnesotans. The budget delivers additional support for people with disabilities, funding to prevent homelessness, and assistance for those experiencing mental illness and substance abuse. Finally, the legislation includes significant investments in affordable child care for Minnesota families.
A nonpartisan research summary of the bill is available here.
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