This will be my last legislative update until after the 2022 election. State law prevents incumbent legislators from sending emails such as this during an election period, as to not give an unfair advantage. While I won’t be sending these updates for several months, you should still feel free to reach out with any questions or input you have on our legislative work. My office is always able to respond to inquiries, and you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-4110.
Below, you can find some helpful resources for our community, many of which we secured through our work in the Minnesota House:
Bonus Pay for Frontline Workers - Application Deadline Today
Today at 5pm is the deadline for frontline workers to apply for bonus pay. This past legislative session, House Democrats fought to invest $500 million in bonus pay for those workers who kept our state operational during the darkest days of the pandemic. Health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service and retail workers, and more are eligible.
Learn more and apply at frontlinepay.mn.gov.
988 - Mental Crisis Hotline
Mental health crises are becoming a greater public health concern. This past Saturday, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to a new service with an easier-to-remember number to help those in need. Now, by dialing or texting 988, a trained mental health counselor is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week if you or someone close to you is experiencing a crisis. The new 988 system is better equipped to respond to mental health crises, and the new number will help ensure people can quickly get support.
Workers can connect callers to additional support or in-person care. The service is free and confidential.
Veterans Service Bonus
Another bonus is the product of this year's Veterans and Military Affairs bill. This one for those who courageously served our nation, recognizing post-9/11-era veterans and Gold Star Families with service bonuses of up to $2,000.
There are approximately 48,000 eligible veterans, over half of whom deployed to combat operations including those in Afghanistan or Iraq. Minnesota has a long history of awarding these service bonuses to veterans who served in America’s wars. 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.
The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is facilitating the program. The application is now open. You can learn more here.
COVID Test & Vaccines
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 let me know if you have any questions about these resources, or our work at the legislature. I always appreciate hearing from you!