I want to wish our new President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris the very best as they begin their service to our nation. I look forward to working with the Biden Administration to address the many challenges that we face and to build a better future for every person in our state and country. #EverybodyIn.
Defending and Strengthening Our Democracy
It's a great relief - though I wish it didn't need to be - that America was able yesterday to continue the tradition of peaceful transfers of power. Regardless, our democracy continues to need strengthening. Today, my House colleagues announced the Democracy for the People Act, legislation that I have coauthored to defend and strengthen our democracy. The bill would expand voter registration and absentee voting, restore the right to vote to Minnesotans on probation or parole, close dark money loopholes and empower small donors, and include Minnesotans in the process of redistricting (which will follow the census).
Addressing the Climate Crisis
This morning, Governor Walz announced a set of proposals to protect our earth for future generations. The plan, which has support from House and Senate DFLers, including those of us in the Climate Action Caucus, aims to lead Minnesota to 100 percent clean energy by 2040. In addition, it would require utilities to prioritize clean sources when generating new electricity, help consumers save money by using energy more efficiently, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings. This is exciting news in our state’s fight against climate change!
Vaccine Distribution Update
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health launched a COVID-19 vaccine pilot program. Nine clinics across the state began offering vaccines by appointment to Minnesotans aged 65 and older, as well as to teachers, school staff, and child care workers. While the vaccine supply remains very limited, the goal of this program is to help our state prepare to give it to everyone who wants one once the federal government provides more doses.
Business Relief Payments
The Minnesota Department of Revenue recently issued $67.3 million in COVID-19 Business Relief Payments to nearly 4,000 eligible businesses across the state. The payments were part of bipartisan legislation that the Minnesota Legislature passed in December to support restaurants, bars, gyms, and similar businesses. Businesses that don’t receive a payment but think they meet the program criteria can complete an online inquiry process. The Department of Revenue will accept inquiries until February 5, and an additional round of payments will be made after that date for businesses that qualify.
Prenatal to Three Policy Forum - Monday
The next Prenatal to Three Policy Forum will take place via Zoom on Monday, January 25 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The next installment in this quarterly series - which I helped found to bring together advocates, policymakers, and community members - will provide an early look at the early childhood proposals that we’ll consider during the legislative session. You can find more information at www.p3minnesota.org.
Town Hall Thank You
Finally, many thanks to the more than 100 constituents who joined my town hall with Rep. Her and Sen. Murphy last weekend. If you weren’t able to join us, you can watch a video of the event here. Please continue to stay in touch throughout the legislative session.
State Representative, District 64B
503 State Office Building
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