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

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Legislative Update: March 25, 2021

Thursday, March 25, 2021

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Rep. Edelson

Dear Neighbors, 

As summer approaches, we can more clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel and a return to enjoy Minnesota without COVID-19 related restrictions. While we continue to make speedy progress with the vaccine distribution plan, I hope you stay safe and in line to receive yours. 

As of March 21st, exactly 1,437,931 people have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine while 854,827 people have completed both doses of vaccine that are required for the vaccine’s maximum effect.

On Thursday, Governor Walz announced Minnesota has administered more than two million COVID-19 vaccine doses. While it took more than two months for the state to administer the first million doses, it took less than one month to administer the second million doses. 

Minnesota has been able to increase vaccination rates as supply has increased from the federal government and Governor Walz continues to expand capacity in the state’s vaccine distribution network. Minnesota is a national leader in getting vaccines into arms and continues to rank in the top ten among states for the percentage of doses received that have been administered. We continue to hit milestones every week and are staying committed to putting the health of Minnesotans before politics. 

If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, I encourage you to check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool to help people find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine. It can let you know when you’re eligible to be vaccinated, connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment, and alert you if there are vaccine opportunities nearby. To sign up, visit or call 833-431-2053.

Legislation Updates from the Capitol

Below is a summary of several pieces of legislation I am chief authoring this session: 

HF1644: This legislation was heard in the Education Finance Committee this week and would allow school districts to offer the choice of distance / hybrid learning for the 2021-2022 school year and creates a task force that would look at what has worked for students and districts and what did not work over the course of the last year. This pandemic has been hard on many students - but there are lessons to be learned and innovations that we can adopt in our K-12 education system. This legislation does not change the fact that in-person learning will be offered in all public schools throughout the state - it simply allows districts to offer a choice of distance learning models to students and families. This bill is bi-partisian and moving in both the House and Senate. 

HF1824: This legislation was heard in the Human Service Policy and Finance Committee this week. It creates a Legislative Task Force to review the statute related to the Department of Human Services background checks and would study eligibility and disqualifications, and appropriates money for the task force and related data gathering. The last look at this Statute occurred in 2003. Currently the way a DHS background check works unfortunately has created barriers to re-entry of the workforce - even when public safety is not at risk. A report would be due to the legislature in 2022. This bill is bi-partisian and moving both in the House and Senate.   

HF965: This legislation was heard in the Education Finance Committee this week and requires IEP teams to work with parents of a student with disabilities on recovery education services and supports to address the impact of learning loss that occurred over the pandemic. The State of Minnesota is projected to receive approximately $49 million of federal funds from the American Rescue Plan specifically to meet the needs of students with special needs disabilities - these funds would fund this important legislation. This bill is bi-partisian and moving in both the House and Senate. 


Governor Walz Releases Revised Budget 

Last week, Governor Walz released his Revised COVID-19 Recovery Budget for the next biennium. The revised budget accounts for the recent economic forecast released last month by Minnesota Management and Budget.

New Regents Elected

Last Monday, the Minnesota Legislature held a joint convention to elect four new regents to govern the University of Minnesota for six-year terms. Elected Regents include:

  • Ruth Johnson (1st Congressional)
  • James Farnsworth (4th Congressional)
  • Kodi Verhalen (6th Congressional)
  • Doug Huebsch (7th Congressional). 

Click here for coverage from the Star Tribune. 

Congratulations to these newly elected regents! May you serve our state’s esteemed University with commitment and pride. Thanks to all candidates who ran to serve-- your contributions to our state are appreciated.

Edina Advocates with the Beacon Interfaith Collaborative 

This week, I met with advocates from Edina for a conversation on housing in Minnesota. I am incredibly proud of our community for its leadership around this issue and looking forward to turning our passion into policy. 


Heal Together: Edina All-School Assembly

Caring for the mental health of our students in Edina is essential to the success and growth of our community. The COVID-19 pandemic has especially showcased the need to put wellness first. 

In response, the first-ever virtual Heal Together All-School Assembly is scheduled for the week of March 22-26. All 8,600 Edina Public School Students will be viewing a short virtual assembly centered around resources available in our schools. The assembly will be joined by special celebrity guests and the EPS Mental Health and Wellness support team. 

Thanks to the Edina Education Fund, Student Representatives, Superintendent John Schultz, and all Edina Public School (EPS) District Principals, we can deliver a message of hope, resilience and empowerment to students in Edina. You can check out the great coverage of this powerful work here



Women's History Month Highlight: 

“The best-known name among women in Minnesota medicine is that of Martha Ripley. She was one of the state's first generation of female physicians. In 1886, when no Minneapolis hospital would admit an unmarried woman for care in pregnancy or childbirth, Ripley rented an empty house and founded Maternity Hospital, open to all and doubling as a social service agency. Run mainly by women, it was known as one of the most distinguished medical facilities in the Upper Midwest until it closed in 1956.” 

Read more about the incredible history of women in Minnesota here.  


2021 Legislative Survey: If you have not yet taken the District 49A Legislative Survey, please use the following link to submit your input: SURVEY. 

Legislative Easter/Passover Break: The Legislature will be on recess for the Easter/Passover break Monday, March 29th through April 2, 2021. I wish you all happy and healthy Easter and Passover holidays.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to contact me anytime at or 651-296-4363 with your input or questions. You’re also welcome 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