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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL)

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Vaccine Update, Voting Legislation, and More

Monday, January 25, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

During President Biden’s inauguration there were several calls for unity and healing, and as the only divided state government in the nation  I believe this is a worthy goal for us. Unity not necessarily in the methods or policy decisions, but unity in a common goal in making Minnesota a better place to live for everyone, unity in understanding our responsibility as legislators to use our power to work towards truth and justice for all. I hope this moment indicates that we have truly turned a corner and enter a new political era of mutual respect and courtesy.

Vaccine Pilot Program Launches

Last week, Minnesota announced an important next step in the process of delivering the COVID-19 vaccine to certain priority groups. A pilot program will establish new vaccination sites throughout the state, and individuals who are 65 years or older, as well as school staff and child care workers (who have been notified by their employer that they’re eligible), will now be able to make appointments to receive the vaccine. If you are a school staff member or child care worker you will schedule an appointment through your employer.

If you fall into these groups, initial appointments are now full as they were extremely limited. You can book appointments online here, or by phone at 612-426-7230 or toll free at 833-431-2053. New appointments won’t be available until Tuesday, January 26 at 12 pm. If you encounter additional problems or need help navigating this process, please contact me.

The pilot sites are located in Andover, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Thief River Falls.

House DFL Introduces Democracy for the People act

Last week the House DFL introduced legislation that will defend and strengthen our democracy. The bill has several measures that will ensure all Minnesotans can participate in our democracy without interference. Here are the main provisions of the bill:

  • Prohibits intimidating and harassing voters or elections officials and using deceptive practices to disenfranchise voters.
  • Gives state and local elections officials access to the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure.
  • Establishes automatic voter registration, allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and restores the right to vote for Minnesotans who are on probation or parole.
  • Strengthens absentee voting by creating a permanent absentee ballot list, establishing ballot drop box and return sites, removing the witness requirement, and ensuring voting instructions for absentee ballots are provided in multiple languages.
  • Closes dark money loopholes, while making outside groups that spend large amounts of money disclose their three largest donors. The disclosure process for online and digital advertising will be modified as well.
  • Modernizes the Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program, replacing it with Democracy Dollars coupons that are available to all registered Minnesota voters.
  • Empowers voters and small donors with a small donor public financing match program for candidates and the creation of small donor committees for grassroots efforts.
  • Improves Minnesota’s redistricting process by setting fair criteria for lawmakers to follow when drawing and evaluating maps. It also creates a public process to solicit Minnesotans’ input, make redistricting data available to the public, and provides advance notice of maps and hearings.


Legislative Priorities for the House DFL

Two weeks ago, we rolled out the House DFL’s initial legislative priorities for this year’s session, with a focus on getting Minnesota through this pandemic and ensuring that we have the resources necessary to bounce back. While protecting and investing in economic security, worker protections, education, child care, and health and human services are crucial components for Minnesotans, we’re diligently working within all policy areas to build a better state.

Session Priorities v3

Stay In Touch

If you have any questions about the virus, please feel free to reach out to my office at or 651-296-7807. You can also follow me on facebook

Keep your comments, questions and concerns coming! I always enjoy hearing from you. 


Rep. Tou Xiong