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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Minnesota House Democrats discuss first priorities for 2021 Legislative Session

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

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.

“Minnesotans deserve to be safe, healthy, and have economic security,” said Speaker Melissa Hortman. “While vaccines bring hope that the end of the pandemic is in sight, COVID-19 continues to threaten our families and communities. House Democrats are focused on responding to the needs of Minnesotans, helping them weather this pandemic and thrive after it ends.”

“The work of the people of Minnesota must continue, despite threats of violence encouraged by top Republicans politicians and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Majority Leader Ryan Winkler. “Despite the unprecedented challenges facing us, House Democrats will still work to advance a policy agenda to meet Minnesota’s needs. The priorities we are announcing today are immediate steps the Legislature can take to help the health and livelihoods of workers, families, and small businesses hurt the most by COVID-19.”

“No matter the difficulties we find ourselves in at the moment, House DFLers continue to work towards a Minnesota where everyone can thrive,” said House Deputy Majority Leader Liz Olson. “Our House DFL priorities will help protect the health, safety, and economic security of Minnesotans now during the pandemic, and ensure that those most impacted during the pandemic can live healthy and stable lives in the future."

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