As I write this, we are currently debating the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget bill, which is aimed at building a better health system for Minnesotans after the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget strengthens our public health systems, addresses health inequities, makes prescription drugs more affordable, and expands coverage for low-income Minnesotans. The bill also includes needed investments in affordable childcare for Minnesota families.
As the vice-chair of the Health Finance Committee, it’s been an honor to work alongside Chair Liebling in crafting this critical area of our state budget. The HHS budget is comprised of Democrat and Republican bills. One of the provisions I am most thrilled about is the inclusion of the long overdue compensation raises for our Personal Care Assistants. I have heard from many in our community about prioritizing this proposal and I’m glad to say we have.
I’m also pleased to share that a couple of my individual bills have been included into the HHS budget bill. The first includes grant funding for regional emergency medical services, and the second appropriates funds to the Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) Educational Program, which enhances training tools for rural medical personnel to anticipate, recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies before serious injury or cardiac arrest.
In true Minnesota fashion, we are helping our neighbors in all corners of the state in this budget bill. I look forward to voting ‘yes’.
COVID-19 Vaccines Available
Thousands of appointments to receive a COVID-19 Vaccine are available at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. You can schedule an appointment by signing up for the state’s Vaccine Connector or by calling 1-833-431-2053, and support is available for multiple languages (translators are also available on-site). The location has an ADA accessible drive-through option, and free Metro Transit passes are available for everyone who registers.
As of this week, 56% of Minnesotans age 16 or older have received at least one dose. Having as many people vaccinated as possible is the most immediate, significant action we can take to move past this pandemic.
The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency has launched RentHelpMN, a portal for low- and moderate-income renters to get assistance to catch up on overdue rent and utilities. While Minnesotans were displaced from their jobs, the eviction moratorium was an important step to ensure housing security and prevent homelessness. Minnesota has received about $375 million for emergency rental assistance.
Renters can apply directly or learn more about the application process by visiting renthelpmn.org. Download the Renter checklist to see if you’re eligible and find out what documents you’ll need in order to be ready to apply. There are also resources available for landlords. I encourage you to take advantage of this assistance if you’re eligible.
Community Coffee Hour- This Saturday!
You’re invited to join a virtual “Coffee with John” this Saturday, May 1 at 10:00 a.m. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.
Here’s how you can join:
Topic: Virtual Coffee with John
Time: May 1, 2021 10:00 AM Central Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 974 2537 0885
Stay in Touch
I hope to see you this Saturday! Even if you can’t make it, please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s an honor to serve our Rosemount, Apple Valley, and Coates neighbors at the Capitol.