Like many of you, I’ve been closely following the public hearings held by the congressional Select Committee that is investigating the January 6th attack on our nation’s Capital. The bipartisan committee is presenting evidence gathered by nonpartisan career prosecutors that shows former President Trump and his allies conspired to overturn the 2020 election and instigated the insurrection on January 6th. You can watch all of the hearings on the Select Committee’s website.
These hearings are important because they are presenting the American people with evidence of what happened leading up to, during, and after the insurrection. After five public hearings, it’s clear that an equally important focus for the committee is laying out the ongoing risks to our free and fair elections in the United States. As Trump and his political allies continue to spread the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, they are targeting trusted local and state elections officials and mobilizing to undermine future elections they don't win. Just last week, a New Mexico canvassing board unlawfully refused to certify primary election results, citing unfounded conspiracy theories about voting machines.
This is a serious threat to our democracy and freedom to vote. This is not a partisan issue; it is an American one. We must hold the people who orchestrated the January 6th insurrection accountable and make sure it never happens again.
Frontline workers kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic. In recognition of their sacrifices and hard work, lawmakers delivered $500 million worth of bonus payments. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans are eligible for bonus pay, including health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service workers, and retail workers.
You can view eligibility information and apply for bonus pay at frontlinepay.mn.gov/submit. Applications will be accepted until Friday, July 22. Please share this information with your community and make sure to apply before the deadline.
When the 2022 legislative session adjourned, House DFLers continued working. We wanted to have bipartisan legislation ready if lawmakers returned to the Capitol for a special session. Several bipartisan bills were complete or nearly finished when the regular session ended, and we hoped this important work could still get done. We fought to deliver the results Minnesotans deserve.
Senate Republicans refused to work with us. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller announced they were walking away from critical work. I gotta tell you, I’m frustrated and angry. Lawmakers should prioritize the urgent needs of Minnesotans - not election year politics. Minnesota has a historic budget surplus, but Senate Republicans blocked all our efforts to deliver more funding for schools, public safety, and housing. Unfortunately, in our divided government, we can’t address these issues when they refuse to cooperate.
In America, we’re experiencing far too much grief, trauma, and tragedy as a result of deadly mass shootings and our epidemic of gun violence. The vast majority of Americans and Minnesotans support action to prevent gun violence, and it’s imperative that we take action at every level of government. Unfortunately, that became more difficult today when the Supreme Court - the one branch of government that isn’t elected and accountable to voters - issued a ruling to tie the hands of elected officials who are trying to pass common sense gun policy. By striking down New York’s 100-year-old concealed carry law, the Court’s majority made it harder for states and the federal government to address the gun violence epidemic.
But we must continue to act to enact common sense laws to make our community safer and free from gun violence. I am encouraged by the progress of the bipartisan group of U.S. senators who have advanced bipartisan gun safety legislation in Congress. If passed, this federal bill would:
This bipartisan measure is an incremental step in the right direction, but it doesn’t go far enough or include many vital policies that Democrats in Congress were pushing for. That said, if it passes, it will be the first major action Congress has taken on gun safety in 26 years.
To prevent gun violence, we need to take action at all levels of government. If the federal bill passes, Minnesota should take advantage of the opportunity to finally pass red flag laws. I’ll also keep advocating for universal background checks and a ban on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines at the state level. We need to make these changes to address the epidemic of gun violence so Minnesotans can attend school, go to work, attend religious services, and spend time in public places without fear.
On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved two COVID-19 vaccines for children who are six months old or older. Both vaccines were carefully studied and help protect children from severe disease, hospitalization, and death. They’re administered in smaller doses and packaged differently than vaccines that are available for older children and adults.
More than 300 providers in Minnesota are offering vaccines to children between six months and five years of age, including pediatricians, pharmacies, community clinics, and more. Parents and guardians can use the Vaccine Locator Map to find local providers. More information about COVID vaccines for children is available at mn.gov/vaxforkids.
Students from Southwest High School came to the Capitol recently to present research they conducted on climate change and renewable energy. I had the opportunity to hear their powerful presentations. It was inspiring to see students leading the way and sharing data and analysis that could shape our policy and our world for the better!
I proudly stood with Minnesotans who work at Amazon warehouses last Friday. They’re fighting to be safe and respected in the workplace. It takes courage to fight for your rights at work, especially when you work for the richest and most powerful company in the world.
On Tuesday, I attended my first Red Blue Build with Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity and my legislative colleagues! It felt good to work together to help build a house that a Minnesota family will call home. While we focused on a home for a single family that day, lawmakers can also work together to make the dream of homeownership a reality for many more families. Everyone deserves to have a safe and affordable place to live.
If you have any questions or feedback you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out! You can contact me by email at email@example.com or call (651) 296-4200.