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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sydney Jordan (DFL)

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Legislative Update: February 18, 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021

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Dear Neighbors, 

I hope you are staying safe and warm! It’s been busy at the Minnesota House, with many committee meetings, bill presentations, and my favorite part, meeting with constituents and hearing what is important to them. 

Climate Justice at School

I recently introduced a student-led bill (HF550) to create a state-wide climate justice program for students from elementary to high school. 

Students from the Youth Environmental Activists Network wrote this bill to teach the effects of climate change and the connection between climate, culture, economy, and fight for racial justice. I am honored they have asked me to be their Chief Author in the Minnesota House.  

Climate change requires us to consider a time beyond the present and practice individual responsibility around a societal issue critical to our future. This student-led proposal will create a space in our education system that will prepare future generations to tackle environmental problems and their intersectional relationship with justice issues. 

Including climate change in the curriculum will breed new solutions and encourage excellence in social and natural sciences.

Hospitality Workers Deserve a Safe Return to Work 

The 2021 legislative session is a new opportunity for lawmakers to respond to Minnesotans’ needs. House Democrats have proposed immediate actions the Legislature can take to help the Minnesotans who have sacrificed and risked the most to keep all of us healthy and safe. Our latest proposal focuses on the needs of our hospitality and service sector workers laid off due to the pandemic.   

Last Monday, we announced H.F 39 to help laid-off hospitality and service sector workers return to their jobs. It’s one of many immediate actions that House Democrats are proposing to respond to the needs of workers, families, and small businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. High-quality video and audio of this virtual press conference will be available here.

Communities of color make up 71% of displaced hospitality workers. This policy will ensure workers know they can safely return to their same jobs when the pandemic is over. 


Mask Up Minnesota!

Keeping Minnesotans safe continues to remain my top priority as Minnesota responds to COVID-19. Last week, I introduced legislation to put current mask requirements into effect under state statute. Wearing a mask even when you do not feel sick helps protect our neighbors in cases where we are unaware of our asymptomatic infection.

The bill continues to ask Minnesotans over the age of five to wear a face covering, under state law, when they are:

  1. indoors at a business or public setting
  2. waiting outdoors to enter an indoor business or indoor public setting;
  3. riding on public transportation, in a school transportation vehicle, in a ride-sharing vehicle, or in a vehicle for a business purpose;
  4. outdoors when it is not possible to maintain social distancing from others who are not members of the individual's household, or
  5. in a common area of a multi-unit dwelling

Additionally, the bill includes language on the expiration of the mask policy upon the CDC’s issuance of measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission that does not have a recommendation to wear a face-covering to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Let’s continue to mask up and make sure Minnesota recovers and emerges stronger from this pandemic.


Governor Tim Walz Announces Loosening of COVID-19 Restrictions

Last Friday, Governor Walz loosened restrictions on businesses. The new Executive Order, which went into effect on February 13, takes steps to further reopen Minnesota’s economy safely, including:

  • Increasing the “not to exceed” capacity in restaurants to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 50 percent
  • Increasing indoor entertainment “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25 percent
  • Increasing private events and celebrations “not to exceed” capacity to 50, while leaving the maximum capacity at 25
  • Increasing gym and pool “not to exceed” capacity to 250, while leaving maximum capacity at 25 percent, and reducing distancing requirement to 6 feet.
  • Allowing restaurants to stay open until 11 p.m.

Additionally, the Biden Administration recently signed a contract for 200 million more COVID-19 vaccine doses. The speed at which the state can administer shots is tied directly to the supply we receive from the federal government, which will help more Minnesotans get vaccinated. Case counts and positivity rates continue to trend downward, too, so there are many reasons to be optimistic. Still, we can’t take our eye off the ball, especially with new, more contagious variants emerging. Be sure to continue wearing a mask around others, practice social distancing, and get tested if you think you might need one.

COVID-19 Testing Remains Critical 

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. Make an appointment here.

Vaccine distribution got off to a slow start throughout the nation, but Minnesota is making improvements every week as we receive more doses from the federal government. A new online vaccine locator map is available to help Minnesotans more easily find and connect with local vaccine providers. This map will grow as the federal government sends Minnesota more doses. Another helpful resource for information about COVID-19 is  

MNSure Special Enrollment Period 

Minnesota's health insurance marketplace, MNSure, will be open for a special enrollment period, starting February 16 through May 17, 2021. Life events like moving, having a baby, getting married, or turning 26 allows the special enrollment period to occur. Minnesota residents and families deserve access to quality, affordable health care. It’s critical, now more than ever, for everyone to have insurance. Learn about how to enroll here.

Missing Money/Unclaimed Property

As a result of successful legislation in recent years that is now law, the Minnesota Department of Commerce has developed a secure site that allows Minnesotans to check on their unclaimed property. Common types of unclaimed property can include:

  • Dormant bank accounts
  • Uncashed checks
  • Unclaimed wages
  • Insurance claim payments or benefits
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Safe deposit boxes

The Department is responsible for safeguarding the funds until claimed by the rightful owners. Check to see if you have missing money waiting for you here.

It is my job to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact me with anything you may need. 


Sydney Jordan

State Representative