I hope you’re staying cool and hydrated as temperatures rise. I’m writing to you today for what will be my last of these legislative updates until after the 2022 election. While I will have periodic updates to share and keep you informed on what’s happening at the Capitol and behind the scenes, incumbent legislators are barred from communications like these updates via email or postal mail during campaign season. This does make it more challenging for us to communicate but I can still respond to any direct or individual questions you may have about our work in the House or resources that are available for our community.
If you haven’t yet, now is the time to subscribe to my official State Representative Facebook Page and follow for updates throughout the rest of the year. My legislative office also remains open, so feel free to send any inquiries that way at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-7449. I always look forward to hearing from you!
A shoutout to Eden Prairie’s MiroMatrix, which I recently visited with Senator Eric Pratt, of Shakopee. Senator Pratt and I sponsored a bipartisan effort for the SciTech Internship program, which works to match college students with local businesses in STEM careers.
It is a joy and honor to represent our community. I hope to see you around town this summer and fall! I’ll leave you now with some important deadlines and resources for our community and state:
Frontline Worker Pay - Applications Closing Friday
As I’ve shared in past updates, one of the more significant accomplishments from this session was the investment of $500 million in bonuses for the frontline workers who kept our state running during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state is at the place it is today thanks to these workers.
Health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and more are eligible for this bonus. This Friday, July 22 is the deadline to submit an application. Learn more and apply at frontlinepay.mn.gov.
Protecting Reproductive Rights
Everyone deserves access to reproductive health care. While abortion remains legal in Minnesota, protecting that right in our state, and protecting the rights of those who might come here from other states, is going to take a fight. We received some good news on that front last week with the state court striking down many of Minnesota’s outdated and harmful abortion restrictions.
Women who are making a tough decision about their own healthcare shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to get the care they deserve and need. This will help clinics like Whole Woman’s Health - which I recently toured with colleagues - provide more timely and responsive care while expanding the pool of available providers at a moment when that is urgently needed to serve the uptick of patients.
Just this week, I had an exciting meeting with WomenVenture, an organization with a strong history of supporting female entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs of color across Minnesota, particularly in the early care and learning space. I’ve partnered with them on legislation previously and look forward to sharing some updates for the next legislative session.
As you are well aware, supporting small businesses, women in and out of the workforce, and families with young children are top priorities of mine.
Veterans Service Bonus
This year's Veterans and Military Affairs bill, one of the most bipartisan bills of the session, includes another monetary bonus. This is for those who courageously served our nation, recognizing post-9/11-era veterans and Gold Star Families with service bonuses of up to $2,000.
There are approximately 48,000 eligible veterans, over half of whom deployed to combat operations including those in Afghanistan or Iraq. Minnesota has a long history of awarding these service bonuses to veterans who served in America’s wars. Starting in 1919 after World War I, through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terrorism.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is facilitating the program. The application is now open. You can learn more here. If you or one of your family members served and sacrificed for our freedoms, please know you have my gratitude and support.
The Preserve Turns 50
Last night was the 50th anniversary of The Preserve in Eden Prairie. There are a number of celebration events throughout the weekend and it was fun to be onsite to kick off the festivities with Mayor Ron Case, Senator Steve Cwodzinski, and Council Members Lisa Toomey and Mark Freiberg. You can read more about the The Preserve and this weekend’s events here.
New 988 Hotline
Last week, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was launched. The hotline, which transitions from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline with a shorter, easier-to-remember number, will connect people in crisis with trained counselors. Federal funding is supporting the new service, which will close a significant gap in mental health services. Traditional responses to 911 calls often aren’t uniquely equipped to respond to mental health crises.
Crisis workers are available at the three-digit number 24/7 and can connect callers to additional support or in-person care. The service is free and confidential.
Constituent Opinions Survey
Finally, if you haven’t already, please take a moment to fill out my short, 7-question legislative survey online here. Your input drives my work on behalf of our community at the Capitol, and much of that work happens during the interim. It’s an honor to represent our community, and my work is at its best when it reflects the priorities of our neighbors.
Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions or input you may have.
Have a fantastic summer!