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

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Legislative Update: March 4, 2021

Thursday, March 04, 2021

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Dear Neighbors, 

I hope you’ve been able to find time to enjoy the early spring weather recently! Last Wednesday, the rising moon appeared momentarily balanced atop the State Capitol. This photo, taken by Andrew VonBank, captured the moment beautifully, and I want to share it with you all. 

The legislature is racing along, and there are many puzzle pieces moving from committee to committee to create our state laws. Here is an update from the Capitol.

Comprehensive Sexual Health Legislation

Last week, I presented House File 358 to the House Preventive Health Policy Division, which would require the Commissioner of Education to develop and report on a model program for sexual health education. The division advanced the legislation onto the Health Finance and Policy Committee. 

Our students are begging us to give them the tools to protect their health, understand their bodies, form healthy relationships, and learn about consent. By implementing Comprehensive Sex Health Education programs statewide, we can prevent not only unintended pregnancies, lessen STI transmissions, and prevent sexual violence but also prepare young Minnesotans to lead healthy, responsible, and happy lives. 

It’s time we listen and deliver. 

Insecticide Use and Wildlife Management

This week, I presented House File 1210 on insecticide use and wildlife management. This legislation would prohibit using pesticides containing neonicotinoids or chlorpyrifos in Minnesota state parks, aquatic management areas, scientific and natural areas, and wildlife management areas. These public lands are our most precious lands, where we as Minnesotans can recreate, hunt, fish, and gather to spend time with our families. Our pollinators are the glue that holds our ecosystems together, and they deserve protection. 

You can watch the hearing presentation and supporting testimony here and read more about why we need to take action in this article published by the Star Tribune.

Driver’s Licenses for All Legislation

Last week, the Minnesota House DFL introduced driver's licenses for all legislation, extending the privilege to be legally behind the wheel regardless of immigration status. This bill is about keeping families together, keeping our residents engaged in Minnesota, contributing to the economy, aiding public safety, and enabling the ability to participate in everyday activities like taking your kids to soccer practice or simply picking up groceries. By denying the right to a driver's license, we're denying families opportunities, endangering public safety, and criminalizing participation in civic life. 

You can watch the press conference or read the bill here.

The Boundary Waters Deserve Permanent Protection

I’m proud to co-author HF 840, which would permanently ban sulfide-ore copper mining on Minnesota lands in the watershed of the Boundary Waters. This is a companion piece to Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s bill to do the same. Our Boundary Waters Wilderness is Minnesota’s ecological crown jewel and must be protected for future generations.

Update on Minnesota’s Economic Forecast

Twice each year, near the end of November and February, Minnesota Management & Budget (MMB) produces a forecast of the state’s General Fund revenues and expenditures for current and future bienniums. There is no longer an anticipated shortfall for the 2022-23 fiscal year based on last Friday’s announcement! The projected positive balance is $1.6 billion due to higher revenue forecast, lower state spending, and an increased balance for the current fiscal year.

At the legislature, we will prioritize investments that put people first and create a better quality of life for all Minnesotans.

Vaccination Video Series in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, and English.

The Sahan Journal recently published an article with Community leaders who came together to produce a series of videos addressing questions and providing resources in Spanish, Somali, Hmong, and English to communicate COVID-19 related information to individuals with language barriers. 

You can read the article, share, and watch the videos here

You can find additional information on COVID-19 resources by county, language, or cultural community at https://covidcommunitycoordinators.web.health.state.mn.us.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Connector Tool and Timeline

Minnesota has just launched a new tool to make reliable vaccine updates and COVID-19 related information reach you faster. The COVID-19 Vaccine Connector will help Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

When you become eligible, the Vaccine Connector will:

  • alert you of your eligibility;
  • connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment; and
  • notify you if there are vaccine opportunities in your area.

As Minnesotans become eligible for the vaccine, they will still make appointments directly through a registered vaccinator at this time. You can find vaccination centers near you here. 

However, this Connector is an easy way for Minnesotans to stay updated about their eligibility and find opportunities to get a shot once it’s their turn. For more information about signing up, eligibility, and more, visit https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/connector/

Minnesotans unable to sign up online can have family or friends help them sign up online or call 833-431-2053 for assistance signing up over the phone.

Vaccine Connector  

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 https://mn.gov/covid19.

As spring approaches, we can also see our path out of this pandemic. Below is the Graphic that details more clearly, which population will get the vaccine and whenIt’s important to note that if we reach our state’s goals, all Minnesotans by this summer will have access to get the vaccine.

vax-timeline

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

Sincerely,

Sydney Jordan

State Representative