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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sandra Feist (DFL)

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Legislative Update: April 7, 2021

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

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Dear Neighbors,

I hope those of you who celebrate had a great Easter, and others had the opportunity to relax and enjoy the surprisingly nice weather we’ve had all week! My family celebrated both Passover and Easter in the past weeks. This time of year is always a nice opportunity to reflect on the two sets of traditions passed down to me and my husband and how we share them with our children. While my Passover macaroons were a hit and the Easter egg painting was a joy as always, I look forward to next year when we can share these happy occasions with extended family once more. It’s just not quite the same without gathering together. (Plus, my first attempt at brisket was a disaster).

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Approaching the end of the session - Now is the time where the legislature comes back into session and advances bills that have been through committee vetting and are ready for a floor vote. The Minnesota Senate will be going through the same legislative process before we start negotiations. To keep up with the bills moving out of the house, you can tune-in on the Minnesota House Informational Services YouTube Channel and watch the House floor process.

Star Tribune: “We should treat, not punish, troubled vets” 

Over the break, I wrote a few words for the Star Tribune to highlight the Veterans Restorative Justice Act. This important legislation, which I am the lead author of, is still making its way through the final stages of committee and preparing for a vote on the House floor. I am incredibly proud of how far we’ve come, and feel optimistic about the bipartisan lead authors in the House and Senate that will help make this into law. 

I invite you to read the article here, and email me with any feedback or thoughts you have around this issue or expanding access to restorative justice for struggling veterans who need our support. I received one particularly touching email from a veteran describing how a Veterans Treatment Court saved his life, and expressing urgency around expanding treatment courts in Minnesota. Emails like these inspire me and energize me to keep advocating for important advances in our criminal legal system.

Putting Minnesotans First: House DFL Budget Bills

On Monday, the House DFL revealed our omnibus budget bills which will be a guide for many of our conversations during the rest of the session as we work to create a budget to address disparities, recover economically and look out for Minnesotans that need a little extra care. Our commitment to Minnesota children, families, and main street businesses remain a priority and through this budget we hope to ensure everyone can successfully run through the approaching finish line after the long year we have had. 

I’m thrilled by the omnibus bills that I had the honor to contribute to, including the bills drafted by the Judiciary, Public Safety, and Education Finance Committees. These bills reflect hours of hearings, expert input, bipartisan debate, and a through-line of seeking a more equitable Minnesota. 

More information on the budget details can be found here, and you can watch our press conference here.

Town Hall Meeting: In case you missed it!

On March 30th at 7 P.M. Senator Mary Kunesh, Representative Connie Bernardy and I hosted a Town Hall event to answer some submitted questions from District 41 constituents!

If you were unable to join us, don’t worry! You can still watch the event here and listen in on some of the topics we had the opportunity to address. 

 

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Vaccine Distribution Update

Now that all adult age Minnesotans have become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, grab your spot in line for a shot or two in the arms and help keep Minnesota safe for everyone. We are extremely close to putting this pandemic in the rear view mirror! I encourage you to stay on top of appointment availability and get your vaccine as soon as possible.

If you haven’t yet, check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, a tool to help people find out when, where, and how to get a vaccine. It can let you know when you’re eligible to be vaccinated, connect you to resources to schedule a vaccine appointment, and alert you if there are vaccine opportunities nearby. To sign up, visit mn.gov/vaccineconnector or call 833-431-2053.


LAST CALL TO SUBMIT LEGISLATIVE FEEDBACK:

2021 Legislative Survey: If you have not yet taken the District 41B Legislative Survey, please use the following link to submit your input: SURVEY.


Staying in Touch

As always, I welcome your emails, calls and requests to schedule meetings. This past week, I had the chance to meet with the owner of a craft brewery who lives in our district to discuss legislation relevant to his business operations. I also had a great meeting with school nutritionists, which covered issues that are definitely on the minds of residents in our district as our children continue to receive critical meals from our school districts. In addition, I had a great call with a retired developer who shared her perspectives on bills that address the permitting process for new homes and how these interplay with affordable housing initiatives. As always, I am wiser and better able to represent our district when I hear from constituents. Stay in touch!

You can stay up to date on our work for the 2021 Legislative Session by subscribing to these legislative updates and “liking” my official Facebook page. For any questions you have on the resources available to our community or our work in the Minnesota House, you can reach me at rep.sandra.feist@house.mn or leave a voicemail at (651) 296-4331. I look forward to hearing from you.

In Solidarity, 

Sandra Feist

Minnesota State representative (House District 41B)

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