I hope this finds you well. February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the contributions our Black Americans have brought to our country and state. My colleagues of color and I released the following statement on the beginning of Black History Month, which you can find here.
Our work continues at the state capitol. Here’s a legislative update:
Legislation for Inver Grove Heights
I recently introduced legislation that would fund construction improvements to Heritage Village Park; specifically, to build accessible playground equipment, water fountains, a fixed-shade structure, and public restrooms. This would create access for an all-inclusive, all abilities play structure for children with and without disabilities in Inver Grove Heights. This would be an exciting new development for our community, and I’ll continue advocating for its inclusion to a larger finance bill.
Governor Walz Announces Budget Proposal
Last week, Governor Walz unveiled a new two-year budget proposal that aims to help students, families, and small businesses recover from the pandemic.
Much of the governor’s budget blueprint aligns with our plan in the House to meet Minnesotans’ needs and build back better post-pandemic. Some of these House proposals include providing 100 hours of paid emergency leave for essential workers; protecting the health and safety of Minnesotans who work in meat and poultry processing plants; and creating a MinnesotaCare public option. Yesterday, the House Labor committee heard Minnesota’s Earned Sick and Safe Time bill, which would allow workers to accrue up to 48 hours of paid sick time per year.
These are all important lifelines for working Minnesotans and their families. Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on these proposals anytime.
Many in our community have expressed their frustration with not being able to get a COVID-19 vaccine. I too, share in your frustration, and appreciate your patience and understanding while our public health experts work as quickly as possible to get the vaccine out to those most at-risk.
Although we have not officially moved into the next phase of the distribution process, MDH has accelerated plans to make the vaccine available more broadly. These plans include (1) the launch the community COVID-19 vaccine pilot program and (2) a directive to hospitals and other vaccination partners that they can use their leftover doses (those still available after vaccinating front-line health workers) for their patients over the age of 65. Both of these initiatives are still very limited in scope because of the limited supply of the vaccine.
As of yesterday, 458,651 Minnesotans have received their first dose of the vaccine and 122,597 have completed the series. More vaccine data is available on the state Vaccine Dashboard. Last week, we learned the federal government will be increasing our state’s allotment of the vaccine and we’re hopeful we can quickly increase distribution and help defeat this pandemic.
Additionally, Minnesota recently hit a milestone reaching one million COVID-19 tests performed at community sites. Testing remains a critical part of our strategy combating COVID-19, and there are currently more than 20 testing sites located around the state, all of which offer no-barrier access to testing. Saliva testing remains available at the Inver Grove Heights Armory daily; appointments can be made here.
Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation to ensure that we are moving as quickly as possible to get the vaccine out to those who are most at risk.
Keep in Touch
Thank you for sharing your input and questions! Please continue reaching out anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-4192.
It is an honor to represent you and your family in the Minnesota House of Representatives.