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A lack of access to affordable, accessible child care for working families is one of the most pressing issues I’ve heard about from our neighbors since joining the Legislature. Additionally, with low reimbursement rates, child care providers are struggling to offer competitive wages and in some cases, to even keep their doors open.
This week, the House passed a pair of bills with robust investments aimed at stabilizing child care and early learning. HF 13 increases the maximum reimbursement rates for all Child Care Assistance Program providers. HF 150 increases the amount of child care stabilization grants – a key initiative launched during the pandemic – for child care programs. The bill also expands eligibility for early learning scholarships to children age five or younger.
Child care and early learning are both crucial for kids to develop, grow, and learn, but also for family economic security. If a parent can’t afford daycare (if they can even find a daycare spot), they can’t join the workforce. According to the Minnesota Department of Human Services, in 2022, 2,588 children and 1,371 families were enrolled in the Child Care Assistance Program in Dakota County.
If businesses can’t hire workers, then they can’t grow. I was proud to support these investments to help kids, families, and communities thrive.
Expanding Lifesaving Care
Today, I presented my bill to the House Health Finance Committee that creates a secured, statewide registry of “POLST” forms, which is a portable form used to communicate a physician’s order to emergency medical service (EMS) personnel and other health care providers. HF 474 has bipartisan backing and is also supported by the Minnesota Ambulance Association. It’s particularly helpful to EMS personnel, in that it helps prevent confusion in which medical treatment preferences aren’t followed in an emergency situation when those preferences cannot be found. I’m glad it’s being considered for inclusion to a larger package of health care related legislation.
Responding to Gun Violence
This week marked the fifth anniversary of the tragic mass shooting in Parkland, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This week, we’re reeling from yet another tragedy, this time at Michigan State University. We are long overdue to enact proactive measures that can help keep our communities safe.
Recently, victims of gun violence, physicians, and law enforcement organizations including the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association recently testified in support of four significant bills to address gun violence. These include:
We know we can’t eliminate all forms of gun violence, but these are critical steps we can take to keep more Minnesotans safe.
Community to Capitol
Now that we’re back in person after two years of remote work, it’s been wonderful to meet with community members at the Capitol advocating on behalf of the issues most important to them.
This week I met with a group of students from our area attending the University of Minnesota - Duluth. They were advocating for more infrastructure improvements to their university's facilities and grant funding to help make college possible for prospective students.
I also met with Sophia, a Rosemount High School Senior serving as a student rep on the ISD #196 School Board. She visited to advocate for more post-secondary options in school, and more resources for students with special needs.
Dairy producers also stopped by this week, and I was grateful for the opportunity to thank them for all they do for families in Minnesota.
Keep in Touch
Please continue to contact me anytime at email@example.com or 651-296-4306. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.
Have a great weekend,