It looks like we are in for a bit of a warm up, I hope you have time to get outside this weekend and enjoy this early spring weather! Last week I joined ABC 6 news to go into depth about our work at the Legislature.
If you have not already, please complete this survey to help me understand where you feel I should focus my efforts for the rest of session.
Stop AAPI Hate
I stand with my Asian American and Pacific Islander colleagues in the Legislature and all Asian communities across our state and nation. We must stand up against hate and discrimination whenever we see it. The tragedy in Atlanta this week did not come out of nowhere, it came from over a year of hateful rhetoric and misinformation around Asian people and decades of fetishization and oversexualization of Asian women. Let us not forget that racism and gun violence are linked. One enables the other, and we must recognize that when we combat gun violence we are combatting the ability of those who are filled with hate, to act on that hate and end the lives of others. Please watch my colleague Rep. Tou Xiong’s speech on this tragedy, and read the Minnesota Asian Pacific Caucuses statement on the issue.
Minnesota continues to make significant progress in overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 2 million Minnesotans have been vaccinated at least once, which includes 77% of seniors. Last week, Governor Walz announced more Minnesotans are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine following the arrival of Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose version. We still have more demand than supply, but we’re continuing to speed up the distribution of the vaccine. If you haven’t yet, sign up for the state’s Vaccine Connector to get connected with opportunities once you’re eligible.
Last week, the governor announced that some business, activity, and gatherings would be updated to ease restrictions in light of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths trending downward. Many in our community are still vulnerable though, and we can’t lose sight of that. While we hope for a summer that allows us to be near each other,we still need to continue taking the steps necessary to protect one another like physical distancing, handwashing, wearing a mask around others, and getting tested if needed.
New Provisions of Governor Walz’s Revised Budget
This week, Governor Walz released his revised budget for the next biennium. The Governor’s proposal includes tax cuts for Minnesotans who received unemployment benefits during the pandemic, expands the renter’s property tax refund, increases eligibility for the Working Family Credit, and includes an Earned Sick and Safe Time proposal to ensure that workers can accrue up to 48 hours per year of paid leave. Additionally, Governor Walz’s budget includes modified conformity for the Shuttered Venues grant and the Paycheck Protection Program, both of which have been valuable lifelines to Minnesota’s small businesses. The proposal would exclude the first $350,000 from income for forgiven loan amounts. Approximately 90% of the loans received in Minnesota are under that threshold and will receive the full tax exemption. This will ensure that Minnesota’s small businesses remain an economic engine for communities across the state.
Stay in Touch
I always appreciate hearing from you, so please feel free to share your questions, ideas, and feedback. Feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-9249. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here, you can also follow my Facebook page here.
It’s an honor to represent our community. Please be safe and stay in touch.
With gratitude and hope,
Rep.Liz Boldon, District 25B
533 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155