Going into the New Year, I'm so grateful for our community. Below you can find my thoughts on the Kim Potter verdict, COVID-19 in our community, and the federal infrastructure bill.
Kim Potter Verdict
As the verdict was read last Thursday, I let out a sigh of relief. Though this is not justice - justice would be seeing Daunte grow up - I hope that our community can feel some peace with this verdict.
After Kim Potter drew a lethal weapon rather than a taser at a traffic stop that should not have happened, our POCI Caucus and Public Safety Committee went to work drafting and passing legislation that could have prevented this tragedy. At every corner, we're stalled by those who are dragging their feet or against even the smallest change to our policing system. We were successful in authorizing sign and release warrants for missed court dates, which is one small change in the right direction. I hope to have your support next session as I work to pass more transformative public safety reforms - so that nothing like this will happen ever again.
I'll leave you with a quote from Daunte's mom:
"We still don't have Daunte home. And this is just a step forward in the bigger issue with policing and hopefully there has to be no more Dauntes. No more Dauntes and so many more names we chant in our streets."
I encourage anyone 16 and older who is fully vaccinated to get their booster to protect against the Omicron variant of COVID-19, as well as the Delta variant. If you aren’t vaccinated, you can still get vaccinated and join the 78% of eligible Minnesotans who have received the shots.
We have more cases in Minnesota today than we did on this day a year ago. Omicron spreads quicker and more easily than past variants. This pandemic is not through with us, hospitals are still over capacity, and we're still losing neighbors to the virus. This holiday season, we can renew our commitment to care for one another (and ourselves), by getting the COVID-19 vaccine and booster.
Continued thanks to our health care providers and all who continue care for us through the pandemic.
How Minnesotans can get their free shot:
How Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test:
If you have any questions about the COVID-19 resources available to our community, please feel free to reach out to me.
Mask Up, Minneapolis!
Effective at 5pm on Thursday the 6th, Minneapolis and St. Paul will require masks in indoor spaces.
Mayor Frey and Mayor Carter simultaneously announced the mask orders Wednesday afternoon, citing the growing spread of omicron, which has been fueling a surge in cases in the state. Stay safe!
Joint Bonding/Transportation Hearing
On December 14th, the House Capital Investment Committee and the House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee held a joint informational hearing on Minnesota’s transportation provisions within the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Biden last month.
The committees heard testimony from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, and the National Conference of State Legislators.
From the new law, Minnesota is estimated to receive $4.5 billion for highways, $818 million for public transportation, $302 million for bridges, and $68 million for electric vehicle charging stations. Other important investments include $100 million for broadband internet and $680 million for clean water infrastructure. This is essential investment from our federal government into Minnesota, and we'll see real change through this funding.
Don't Go Cold
Minnesota’s Cold Weather Rule protects residential utility customers from having electric or natural gas service shut off between October 1 and April 30. You’re eligible for utility shutoff protection even if you rent – the electricity or gas must be the primary heat source, and the utility account must be in your name. Learn more by contacting your utility provider or visiting.
This is an important public health initiative - we all know how cold it can get in Minnesota.
Minnesota House Internship Program
The Minnesota House will be administering a remote Undergraduate Internship Program for the 2022 legislative session.
They have developed an educational component that will consist of two offerings, both of which will be interactive and conducted via the Zoom platform: the Ideas and Issues Forum will use a variety of formats to provide the interns with a window into the House, the legislature, and state government. Profiles in Public Service will be a series of interviews with House Members, staff members, and guests from the executive and judicial branches focused on serving the greater good.
Applications close January 7th, 2022.
Thank you for this year. Thank you for allowing me to serve this community that I love. Merry Christmas, to all who celebrate, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays.
What are your New Years Resolutions for the State Legislature in 2022? Let me know what you're thinking at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-8659.
Have a great week.