This was my first legislative session, and it was by all accounts one of the most – if not the most – unusual. Just a few weeks after I was sworn in, the effects of COVID-19 forced the legislature – and most businesses – to operate remotely. Thanks to technology and everyone working together, the legislature was able to hold remote committee hearings and floor sessions and we adjourned on Sunday as required by the state constitution.
The disruption to the legislative process didn’t stop us from passing several COVID-19 legislative packages to respond to the pandemic. From our offices, and other locations, we voted in committee hearings and floor sessions. Our legislative agenda shifted to respond to this public health crisis and we approved numerous measures to protect Minnesotans at this critical time, including a comprehensive economic security agenda.
We also addressed several significant bills not related to COVID-19, including insulin affordability, and prescription drug price transparency. A public works jobs and local projects bill is still unresolved, but I am hopeful there will be an agreement soon.
You can read more about 2020 legislative session accomplishments here.
Speaker Hortman established the Select Committee on Minnesota’s Pandemic Response and Rebuilding to act on continuing COVID-19 issues. The first meeting was held this week to hear from nurses about their concerns for workplace safety. You can watch the hearing here.
Facebook Town Hall
Please join Sen. Dziedzic, Rep. Noor and me for the End of Session Town Hall this Thursday, May 28, from 6:30-8:00. We will discuss session accomplishments and the work ahead. Tune into Rep. Noor’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/RepMohamudNoor to participate!
Stay Safe Minnesota – Bars and Restaurants Can Open
On Monday, more COVID-19 restrictions were loosened as the new Stay Safe Minnesota executive order took effect, allowing many retail stores and main street businesses to open with a safety plan and limited capacity. Businesses must follow CDC and OSHA guidance. More information about these requirements is available here.
Bars and restaurants can open with limited capacity for patio and outdoor seating on June 1. Salons and other personal care businesses are also being allowed to reopen, but with new procedures. You can read more about the guidelines here.
COVID-19 remains a public health threat, and we all have a part to play in stopping the spread of this global pandemic. Despite the governor’s new orders, we should all continue to take safety precautions like social distancing, wearing a mask, and staying home when sick. Additionally, people who may be vulnerable – like those with compromised immune systems – should continue to stay home. Read more about the Stay Safe MN plan here.
On Monday, we remember those who gave their lives for our country. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is sponsoring a virtual Memorial Day program in partnership with Twin Cities PBS-TPT.
TPT has also created a 30-minute Memorial Day program entitled “Always Remember: A Minnesota Tribute to Veterans we’ve lost,” that will be broadcast across the state on TPT’s Minnesota Channel at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 25. The program can also be live streamed online from the TPT website and on Facebook and will be rebroadcast on TPT several times throughout June and July. It will also be available online after it premieres.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 296-4219. Be sure to “like” my official state representative Facebook page!
Thank you for the privilege of serving District 60A in the legislature.