I hope this finds you well.
Committee work is underway at the State Capitol and the House has hit the ground running.
Last week, my colleagues announced new legislative strategies that have been introduced to help Minnesotans most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here’s what the plan looks like:
Economic Security - HF 1
- Housing assistance and homelessness prevention
- Emergency cash payments to families most in need
- Food security
- Broadband expansion
Worker Protections - HF 2
- Emergency paid sick leave for health care workers
- Workers’ compensation for school employees who contract COVID-19
- Getting hospitality workers back to work
- Expanding unemployment insurance to those collecting social security
Health Care and Human Services - HF 3
- Testing, vaccination, and staffing support for long-term care
- Addressing health-related needs of those without shelter
Education - HF 4
- Wrap-around student supports
- Investments to address learning loss and opportunity gaps
- Funding stabilization to address temporarily decreased enrollment
Child Care - HF 5
- Child care provider grants
- Wait list reduction
This is far from an exhaustive list, but they do represent some concrete steps we can take right now.
In my role as the chair of the House Education Policy Committee, I’ve been committed to finding support solutions for our students, families, and schools that have been impacted by the pandemic. This week, the Education Policy Committee received public testimony in support of HF 4, which provides investments to community service schools, programs to address math and reading deficiencies related to the impact of COVID-19, improvement in the delivery of Special Education and trauma-related services, and school funding stabilization. You can read more about our committee’s work on this critical legislation here.
Democracy for the People Act Announced in the House
Yesterday, my House colleagues introduced a legislative package called the Democracy for the People Act, which aims to build a strong, inclusive democracy that works for Minnesotans of every race, region, political party, and generation. Highlights of the package include: ensuring state and local elections officials can access the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure; establishing ballot drop box and return sites; and closing dark money loopholes. You can read more about the Democracy for the People Act here.
COVID-19 Vaccine Pilot Program
Early this week, Minnesota launched a new vaccine pilot project to help us learn how to best distribute vaccines to Minnesotans through a community strategy. The pilot project will initially serve adults 65 years of age or older, as well as prekindergarten through grade 12 educators, school staff, and child care workers. Appointments are required to receive a shot. Community members 65 and older can make appointments by visiting mn.gov/vaccine or by calling 612-426-7230 or toll free, 1-833-431-2053. Brooklyn Center is the nearest pilot location for our Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights, Eagan, and Sunfish Lake neighbors. Available appointments will refresh every Tuesday at noon. More information on scheduling can be found at Find My Vaccine.
Right now, the vaccine supply is extremely limited, so patience is encouraged. I am optimistic the new administration will help distribute the vaccine to states in greater quantities soon so we can quickly begin more widespread vaccination.
Keep in Touch
Please always feel free to contact me anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-4192 with input, questions, or to let me know how I can be of assistance.
Thank you for the honor of representing you and your family in the Minnesota House of Representatives.