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RELEASE: Minnesota House Democrats announce first priorities for 2021 Legislative Session

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota House DFL leaders and legislators discussed their first priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session today. The legislation focuses on the ongoing pandemic and assisting Minnesotans struggling as a result of COVID-19.

Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL – Rochester) is the chief author of the House DFL’s health care and human services legislative package, which focuses on testing, vaccination, and staffing support for long-term care facilities and addresses health-related needs of Minnesotans experiencing homelessness.

“Many of our long-term care facilities continue to struggle with COVID, and the risk for residents and staff remains high. Even though they are receiving the vaccine, the pace of distribution isn’t quick enough to solve the problem at once,” said Rep. Liebling, who chairs the House Health Finance & Policy Committee. “This agenda delivers resources to help increase testing and vaccination, as well as emergency strategies to address the staffing crises many facilities are experiencing. I’m hopeful we can urgently deliver these investments to help protect Minnesotans at this critical time in our efforts to overcome the pandemic.”

"It is our duty as Legislators to stand up for everyone in our community to ensure they can withstand this ongoing crisis," said Rep. Liz Boldon (DFL – Rochester). "By establishing these priorities, the House DFL is focusing on our shared values and putting our neighbors in Rochester first. With these priorities, we are standing up for our vulnerable neighbors when they most need our support."

The first bills include the following:

Economic Security – HF 1

  • Housing assistance and homelessness prevention
  • Emergency cash payments to families most in need
  • Food security 
  • Broadband expansion

Worker Protections – HF 2

  • Emergency paid sick leave for health care workers
  • Workers’ compensation for school employees who contract COVID-19 
  • Getting hospitality workers back to work
  • Expanding unemployment insurance to those collecting social security

Health Care and Human Services – HF 3

  • Testing, vaccination, and staffing support for long-term care 
  • Addressing health-related needs of those without shelter  

Education – HF 4

  • Wrap-around student supports 
  • Investments to address learning loss and opportunity gaps 
  • Funding stabilization to address temporarily decreased enrollment

Child Care – HF 5

  • Child care provider grants
  • Wait list reduction