I hope everyone had a happy Independence Day with your families and friends! It’s hard to believe it’s already July! I hope this email finds you happy, healthy, and not sunburnt. Take a scroll below as there are several important updates from the Capitol within.
Vaccines Available for Young Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has 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.
My son and I visited our local clinic last week and he was so brave! I am relieved and grateful to the scientists, specialists, and politicians who made this possible, including former President Trump.
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.
Several new laws that passed during the 2022 session which took effect July 1. You can review these, some of which include the creation of a state advocate for foster youth, new funding to increase hospital capacity, train new mental health care professionals, expand the use of mobile crisis services, and more, here.
It’s a list that should have been much longer. Despite having reached a bipartisan agreement, Senate Republicans have refused to make good on their promise to utilize our state’s historic budget surplus - meaning the meaningful tax cuts and investments we had reached a consensus on have yet to become law. Though my DFL colleagues and I, along with Governor Walz, remain ready to finish our work, Senate Republicans have outright refused to meet us at the table. With rising costs impacting families this summer, legislative hibernation is not the right call. I hope they change their mind because I am ready to the peoples’ work.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision last month to overturn Roe V. Wade puts our country back half a century, making women and other pregnant people second-class citizens. And soon, Minnesota could very well be the only state in the upper Midwest with access to safe, legal abortion.
Governor Walz took urgent executive action to protect reproductive health care services in our state. Executive Order 22-16 will help protect people seeking or providing abortions in Minnesota from laws in other states.
Even with Minnesota’s constitutional protections for abortion access, future legislatures and Governors could put further restrictions in place. I am a co-author of legislation to codify the right to abortion and reproductive health care into our state law (PRO Act, House File 259), as well as the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act (House File 4900), and will continue to do everything within my power to ensure Minnesota remains a state that protects reproductive health care and rights.
Constituent Input Survey
Having served in divided government throughout my short tenure, I know Minnesotans expect lawmakers from both parties to work together to get things done. I’ve been encouraged that we’ve been able to operate this way since 2019. With a historic surplus and a compromise agreement on how to best utilize those funds, we can do meaningful things to move our students, working families, and seniors forward. I’ll continue to advocate for the investments Minnesotans need and deserve.
Despite the deep divide and political strife we’re seeing at the national level, Minnesota continues to be a leader in finding common ground to solve problems as they arise. I remain committed to this spirit of compromise and civility moving forward as your state representative.
Please take a moment to fill out my short, 7-question legislative survey online here. Your input drives my work on behalf of our community at the Capitol.
Improving Mental Health Services
During the final days of the legislative session, the House and Senate developed and passed a bipartisan bill to improve mental health services. The bill, which Gov. Walz signed into law, contained funding to increase hospital capacity, train new mental health care professionals, and expand the use of mobile crisis services. We still have a long way to go in terms of behavioral health services and supports, but this legislation will help more Minnesotans get the care they need.
Post 9/11 Veterans Can Now Apply for Bonus
Our veterans have put their lives on the line for our freedoms. If you have served our country in any capacity, I am grateful for your service and sacrifice. Starting in 1919 after World War I, through World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, and now the Global War on Terrorism, Minnesota has a long history of approving service bonuses to our Veterans who fought to protect our freedoms.
This year, we passed, and Governor Walz signed, the first-ever Veterans Omnibus Bill including funding for a service bonus payable to eligible Veterans who served from 9/11/01 to 8/30/21. I am honored to support this program for eligible Veterans, currently serving service members, or Veterans' beneficiaries. Learn more here.
Frontline Worker Bonus Pay Applications now open
Last month, the Frontline Worker Bonus Pay applications opened. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry has already received over 600,000 applications. It’s important to note that Minnesotans have until July 22 to apply- it is not on a first come, first serve basis. The online application is best supported on a desktop with a Chrome or Firefox browser. Internet Explorer is not supported. You can apply today, here. Please reach out to my office if you have questions or need assistance.
Celebrating the Fourth in Eden Prairie
As we reflect on our nation’s birth, I remain committed to the core values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness the United States has long offered to our residents. I continue to watch closely any efforts to restrict our freedoms, including the freedom to marry the person you love, the freedom to access reproductive health care, freedom from gun violence, and more. I had a wonderful time at Round Lake celebrating with Mayor Case, Senator Cwodzinski, Representative Pryor, and our neighbors yesterday. I hope you and yours had a safe and fun holiday weekend!
Keep in Touch
Please continue to reach out anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-7449 with questions or input. Email is the quickest way to get in touch. If you see me out and about in town, please say hello! Your input is important to me.
Thank you for the honor of serving you in the Minnesota House of Representatives.