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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 19, 2021

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rep. Lee

Dear Neighbors, 

This week saw the first hearing for my bill to authorize the use of appropriation bonds for rebuilding the infrastructure of businesses damaged during last summer’s civil unrest in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Through no fault of their own, entire communities of small businesses were devastated, many of them owned by and serving Black, Indigenous, and communities of color.

I’ve seen so many of our neighbors step up to help our community during these challenging times, and while local and private funding initiatives have helped, the need remains too great and is more than we as a community can cover alone. This is an unprecedented and extraordinary situation, and the one-time use of appropriation bonds in this manner provides us with a means to release a large amount of funds to provide this sorely needed assistance without putting the general fund’s ability to provide for other essential areas of our state budget in jeopardy.

This bill successfully passed its first committee hearing, and I’ll continue to share what happened to West Broadway, Lake Street, and University Avenue until assistance is delivered to our local businesses. 



Get Connected to Your COVID-19 Vaccine

This week, the state of Minnesota launched the new COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, which will serve as a tool to help Minnesotans find out when, where, and how to get their COVID-19 vaccine.



As more Minneapolis residents become eligible for the vaccine, they will still make appointments directly through a registered vaccinator at that time. The City of Minneapolis also launched their own COVID-19 vaccine web tool, which you can access here. This web tool, paired with the Vaccine Connector, can help provide the most up to date information on the vaccine’s progress in our community - and also has multiple language translations available.

We’re still months away from the vaccine being available for all who want it, but when that day comes the Connector will be an easy way for us to stay updated about eligibility and opportunities to get vaccinated once it’s our turn.



A Busy Week for Bills

In addition to my bill hearing on repairing our local businesses, I also presented several other bills in multiple committee hearings during this busy week. There’s a lot to dive into, but here’s a quick overview of some of the issues I’m working on:

  • HF 168 and HF 503. The burden of air pollution is not evenly shared. According to the American Lung Association, poorer people and some racial and ethnic groups are among those who often face higher exposure to pollutants and who may experience greater responses to such pollution. These two bills take significant steps towards protecting communities from the pollution generated by facilities like Northern Metals and shifts the costs and responsibilities onto permit applicants rather than Minnesota taxpayers.
  • HF 786 would make permanent the state’s commitment to high quality afterschool programs like Ignite Afterschool - not just during the pandemic, but in the years to come. The pandemic has made it very clear that many children are left behind when times are tough, but we know that even when times are good for others, there are many kids whose families don’t have the means to help them participate in youth enrichment activities.
  • Yesterday, I presented a bill to invest $4.1 million in electric buses. While buses have generally been viewed as a more environmentally friendly transportation option by reducing the number of cars on the road, they still contribute to emissions that impact air quality, particularly in cities. This bill would make the busses in our community even more environmentally friendly. 


Name a Snowplow

Plowy McPlowface, C-3PSnow, Dontcha Snow - these are just some of the amazing options in the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s “Name a Snowplow” contest. Vote for up to eight of your favorites to help narrow down to the final names that’ll be given to snowplows throughout the state. You can cast your votes here.

Plowy McPlowface

Voting closes on February 26, so be sure to let your voice be heard! 

If you have any questions related to our work in the Minnesota House (that doesn’t have to do with naming a snowplow), feel free to reach out to our office. I appreciate hearing from you. 



Fue Lee

State Representative