It is certainly a hectic time at the Capitol. Last Friday, the second legislative committee deadline passed, which helps narrow the focus of our work as we craft the state’s budget. The entire week, I was either attending committees and floor sessions, or presenting bills in other committees. Here is a sample of bills I presented in committee last week.
HF 680 would provide funding to the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota and received support in the Legacy Committee.
In the Capital Investment Committee, I presented HF 1100, a bill that provides funding for statewide clean water infrastructure throughout the state, including a project in Mankato.
I also had the opportunity to present HF 1794 in the Labor and Veterans Committee. “Helmets to Hardhats” supports veterans exiting the military and helps them enter construction apprenticeship programs. It also delivers mental heath and suicide prevention support.
We are working at a fast pace again this week to finish many of our bills in advance of the Easter/Passover break. Going forward, I will continue to work with our local partners on priorities for our community and region.
Permanent COVID-19 Vaccination Site Opens in Mankato
Last week, Governor Walz announced the expansion of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program, with a new permanent site at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato beginning this week. This site is the seventh opened in Minnesota. Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, Bloomington, St. Paul, and St. Cloud are the other permanent sites.
Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, which will notify users about vaccine opportunities near them. Users currently eligible for the vaccine may be randomly selected for an appointment at a Community Vaccination Program location and contacted directly if they can make an appointment. Anyone unable to sign up online or who requires translation assistance can call 833-431-2053 between 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to sign up over the phone.
Minnesotans can also search for local providers, contact information and scheduling opportunities on the state’s vaccine finder map: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp.
In addition, the state continues to offer no-cost community testing for COVID-19 across Minnesota, including at the former Gander Mountain site in Mankato. Minnesotans are encouraged to schedule an appointment at https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing-locations/community-testing.jsp
Tax Filing Update
The Minnesota Department of Revenue has announced a filing date extension for taxpayers to file their 2020 Minnesota Individual Income Tax return, aligning with an IRS decision last week. Minnesotans now have until May 17 to file their payments and returns. Please visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website with information on their resources, including COVID-19 relief available for businesses, and sign up for updates.
Please take a moment to share your legislative priorities by completing my legislative survey. Your name and address are requested to make sure only constituents are weighing in directly. Thank you for your time and I appreciate your input! [This this survey was created prior to the February forecast announcement and question #3 does not reflect the current $1.6 billion projected positive balance].
Stay connected with the Legislature
The Minnesota House continues to operate remotely. The House ensures openness and transparency for the public by expanding the number of simultaneous committees it can webcast live?from a maximum of two to five, so you can stay current on issues moving through committees this budget session.
Also, the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.
I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or can also call my legislative assistant, Joe Lenczewski at 651-296-5486.
Also, please visit and “like” my Facebook page for more Capitol and community updates.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.