After this week, incumbent legislators are no longer allowed to use official communications such as this email to keep you up to date on our work - this is to ensure there is no unfair advantage during the election season. While you won’t see another one of these emails until November, I still highly encourage you to reach out with any questions or input you may have. My work is at its best when you’re involved!
I am still able to respond to your inquiries and help seek solutions, and now would be a great time to follow my State Representative Facebook page if you have not already - where I regularly post.
Though we are well into the legislative interim, there is still hope - and I am still pushing - for a special session to take place this year. Too much important work was left on the table when we were constitutionally required to adjourn in May. From tax cuts to critical investments, there are popular, nonpartisan proposals that we could deliver on tomorrow if we met in a special session.
While I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish (including some resources that are highlighted later in this email), I’m eager to return to finish my work on lowering the costs of prescription drugs, caring for our elders and those with disabilities in group homes, and responsibly investing in education, transportation, IT modernization and cybersecurity, and public safety. With a historic budget surplus, we can still accomplish meaningful work in all of these areas.
As we hopefully wait for a special session, this interim I am continuing my work on legislation to strengthen our laws on domestic violence - an issue I have partnered with Maple Grove Police to continue to strengthen on behalf of victims. I am also doubling down on my efforts to save home owners money on their insurance which has risen by double digits in recent years and working to update state statute on licensed interior designers, both in collaboration with neighbors in our own community.
In addition, I am working on legislation to support medications that target what works for an individual's unique genetic makeup, as well as cyber security and data privacy, specifically measures that will secure the infrastructure of our state and protect our citizens’ privacy. These are all bills I hope to share more on in the future.
For my last update of the summer, I leave you with some important upcoming deadlines and new resources that are available to our community:
Frontline Worker Bonus Application Deadline
One of the more significant accomplishments from this session was the investment of $500 million in bonuses for the frontline workers who kept our state running during the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state is at the place it is today thanks to these workers.
Health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and more are eligible for this bonus. This Friday, July 22 is the deadline to submit an application. Learn more and apply at frontlinepay.mn.gov.
Service Bonuses for Minnesota’s Veterans
I was proud to vote for our bipartisan Veterans Bill this session, which continues a proud tradition by offering service bonuses for our 9/11 Vets. As a leader in the IT caucus, I also want to share incredible news. In just 8 weeks MNIT (Minnesota's IT agency) was able to set up the portal for veterans to apply - this is a perfect example of tech working for the people of Minnesota. In just a few weeks we have seen at least a quarter of those eligible apply already despite the eligibility window that is open for another two years! You can learn more here.
This is how MNIT gets it done for real people, and very important ones, our vets! Thank you Osseo/Maple Grove American Legion Post 172 for your amazing Pancake Breakfast this past weekend and for all of your members for their incredible service to our country and our community!
New 988 Hotline
Last week, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was launched. The hotline, which transitions from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline with a shorter, easier-to-remember number, will connect people in crisis with trained counselors. Federal funding is supporting the new service, which will close a significant gap in mental health services. Traditional responses to 911 calls often aren’t uniquely equipped to respond to mental health crises.
Crisis workers are available at the three-digit number 24/7 and can connect callers to additional support or in-person care. The service is free and confidential.
COVID Vaccines & Tests
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved two COVID-19 vaccines for children who are six months old or older. 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 providers in their area. More information about COVID vaccines for children is available at mn.gov/vaxforkids.
You can now order a third round of free at-home COVID-19 tests. Click here to place your order or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). More COVID-19 updates are available through the Minnesota Department of Health website, or the U of M Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have. I can be reached at 651-296-1761 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s an honor to represent our community.
Have an amazing summer!
Your State Representative