Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative and Vaccine Update: March 11

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Rep. Edelson

Dear Neighbors, 

Spring has arrived in Minnesota! As the weather warms and the snow melts— you can feel hope in the air. This Spring signals the beginning of our pathway out of this pandemic. While more and more vaccines are being administered every week, I hope you and your loved ones are able to monitor eligibility and available appointments. If you are experiencing issues with access and are in a qualified group, please be sure to contact me at

Currently, 1,129,967 of Minnesotans have received their first dose of the vaccine, and 642,701 individuals have completed the vaccine series. Each week we are making more progress on this front as we expand eligibility.  

Minnesota Vaccine Distribution Update

We received great news earlier this week: Minnesota was able to expand vaccine eligibility on Wednesday, March 10 as the state reaches its goal of vaccinating 70% of Minnesotans 65 years of age and older. At our current pace, Minnesota is now several weeks ahead of schedule. More than 1.8 million Minnesotans are newly eligible to receive a vaccine 

Now eligible

Phase 1b Tier 2 populations include: 

  • Minnesotans with specific underlying health conditions: Sickle cell disease, Down syndrome, those in cancer treatment or immunocompromised from organ transplant, oxygen-dependent chronic lung and heart conditions (COPD & CHF)
  • Targeted essential workers: Food processing plant workers
  • Minnesotans with rare conditions or disabilities that put them at higher risk of severe illness

Phase 1b Tier 3 populations include:

  • Minnesotans age 45 years and older with one or more underlying medical conditions identified by the CDC
  • Minnesotans age 16 years and older with two or more underlying medical conditions
  • Minnesotans age 50 years and older in multi-generational housing
  • Essential frontline workers: Agricultural, airport staff, additional child care workers not previously eligible, correctional settings, first responders, food production, food retail, food service, judicial system workers, manufacturing, public health workers, public transit, and U.S. Postal Service workers

All Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector to get regular updates on vaccine availability and eligibility. In some cases, health care providers or employers will have more information for patients or employees on vaccine availability. Minnesotans can also call the translation hotline at 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone.


Tackling the Sugar Epidemic with the American Heart Association and Health Advocates 

The Minnesotans for Healthy Kids Coalition identifies sugary drinks as one of the largest contributors to diet-related chronic diseases, which currently cost Minnesotans more than $3 billion each year in increased healthcare. 

Sugary drinks are also the #1 source of added sugar in the US diet. Without action, 4 out of 10 youth today are likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

To combat growing concern around this issue, I recently introduced legislation (HF1307) to partner with restaurants to provide healthier meal options for children. The bill requires healthier options such as milk or water as default beverages instead of sugar-heavy drinks that exceed the sugar intake appropriate for minor consumption. It’s important to note that the legislation does not ban sugary items - it changes the default settings for what is included in a kids meal. Parental choice is still valued in this bill. 

The provisions have strong public health support from 43 different organizations in Minnesota, including the American Heart Association, Allina Health, Minnesota Medical Association and Children's Hospital and Clinics. Similar bills have been passed in Delaware, Hawaii and California.

Yesterday, we had a hearing in the Preventative Health Committee about this bill, which is a step in the right direction to curb the sugar consumption trends in Minnesota. The legislation only received an informational hearing due to the pandemic and how hard this year has been on our small businesses. However, the bill will be re-introduced next year for a full vetting. You can watch the recorded version of the hearing here.


Legislation to Increase Rates for Intermediate Care Facilities 

My bill, House File 740, received its first hearing in the Human Services Committee yesterday and successfully advanced to the next stop in the legislative process. This legislation proposes a modification to payment rates for intermediate care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities (ICFs/DD). ICU’s are licensed, supervised homes that care for individuals with Developmental Disabilities. There are currently 126 ICF’s in MN supporting  approximately 1,000 individuals. The last rate adjustment was in 2015 at 1% and my legislation is critical to ensure these important staff are valued in their reimbursement rates.   

Catch the full hearing of the bill on the House Informational Services’ YouTube Channel.


49 Edina Businesses Receive DEED Grants. 

On March 5, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) announced the 6,151 small businesses that received $10,000 grants last year through the Small Business Relief Grants program - 49 of those businesses are located in Edina. You can read more here. 

I am extremely proud to see the leadership and resilience demonstrated by Edina businesses to recover stronger from this pandemic and bring back life and vibrancy to our community.

President Biden Signed the $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package Thursday Afternoon.  

This historic legislation will send direct payments of up to $1,400 to most Americans and will make a dramatic impact on reducing childhood poverty and hunger in the U.S. The bill will extend a $300 per week unemployment insurance boost until Sept. 6 and expand the child tax credit for a year. It will also put nearly $20 billion into Covid-19 vaccinations, $25 billion into rental and utility assistance, and $350 billion into state, local and tribal relief. You can read more about the Coronavirus Relief Package here

Women’s History Month Highlight

This week I would like to highlight and honor Justice Sara R. Wahl, the first woman to be appointed to the Minnesota Supreme Court. Justice Wahl was appointed in 1977 by Governor Rudy Perpich. She was a trailblazer in the legal world leading on gender fairness and racial bias in our State. I am grateful for her strength and efforts to improve the lives of all Minnesotans! 



Nominate a Clergy to Give a Prayer at the Capitol. 

Do you have a clergy member at your place of worship that you would like to honor by having them join us virtually at the House of Representatives to give the opening prayer during the 2021 Legislative Session this Spring? 

Please email nominations with the clergy contact information to: 

Keep in Touch

Please continue to contact me anytime at or 651-296-4363 with your input or questions. You’re welcome also to follow me or ‘like’ my official Facebook page for additional updates.

Thank you for the honor of representing our Edina residents and families in the Minnesota House!


Heather Edelson

State Representative