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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL)

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Town Hall, Vaccine Update, Budget, and More

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

With Presidents Biden’s inauguration and the meeting of the 117th Congress under Democrat control for the next two years we have a very rare opportunity to make lasting progress for our state and the entire nation. At the Legislature I will continue to fight for the most vulnerable and the marginalized. While there is renewed hope, we have to remember that we are still a wounded nation where lies and tyranny are tolerated by far too many. We must remain vigilant in fighting for progress, justice, and the rights of all people. 

House DFL Advances Critical Education Bill

Last Wednesday, the House advanced our primary education bill that I chief authored, which will help our most vulnerable students during this difficult pandemic. Our students have borne far too great a burden of the impacts of Covid-19, it is time that we as a state devote our full attention to meeting the needs of our students. This legislation will provide critical resources to our education system so that every student can have an opportunity to succeed. Read more about this important bill here.

Vaccine Pilot Program Updated

Yesterday, the Governor announced an update to the COVID-19 vaccine pilot program. Minnesotans age 65 and older will now have a 24-hour window of time to pre-register for a randomized opportunity to get an appointment at one of the nine community clinics. The new process is geared toward preventing a surge of website and call center traffic at a given moment in time and allowing for more equitable access to appointments.

The online portal for pre-registration opened today, january 26 at 5:00am and is open for 24 hours, visit this site to pre-register. During these hours, a link to access the online portal will be live and available on this page.The call center will be open at 833-431-2053 today, January 26 from 9:00am to 7:00pm for pre-registration. Due to high demand for vaccine appointments, Minnesotans are encouraged to use the online portal if at all possible. If the call center line is busy, try calling again later.

This process is bound to evolve as the state receives more vaccines and learns what works well and what needs to be improved. We all want to return to normal as soon as possible, but in the meantime we will have to remain patient and continue to follow preventative measures like wearing a mask, distancing, testing often and staying home when sick.

Racial justice report reviewed by key House committee 

The Select Committee on Racial Justice report to the Legislature was reviewed yesterday by the House Ways and Means Committee. The report calls on the Legislature to act to dismantle racism through policy recommendations in various areas including economic development, housing and education. You can read the report here. Video of the hearing is available on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel. More information, including documents from the hearing, are available on the Ways and Means committee webpage

House DFL Introduces Democracy for the People act

Last week the House DFL introduced legislation that will defend and strengthen our democracy. The bill has several measures that will ensure all Minnesotans can participate in our democracy without interference. Here are the main provisions of the bill:

  • Prohibits intimidating and harassing voters or elections officials and using deceptive practices to disenfranchise voters.
  • Gives state and local elections officials access to the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure.
  • Establishes automatic voter registration, allows 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote, and restores the right to vote for Minnesotans who are on probation or parole.
  • Strengthens absentee voting by creating a permanent absentee ballot list, establishing ballot drop box and return sites, removing the witness requirement, and ensuring voting instructions for absentee ballots are provided in multiple languages.
  • Closes dark money loopholes, while making outside groups that spend large amounts of money disclose their three largest donors. The disclosure process for online and digital advertising will be modified as well.
  • Modernizes the Political Contribution Refund (PCR) program, replacing it with Democracy Dollars coupons that are available to all registered Minnesota voters.
  • Empowers voters and small donors with a small donor public financing match program for candidates and the creation of small donor committees for grassroots efforts.
  • Improves Minnesota’s redistricting process by setting fair criteria for lawmakers to follow when drawing and evaluating maps. It also creates a public process to solicit Minnesotans’ input, make redistricting data available to the public, and provides advance notice of maps and hearings.


Governor Announces Recovery Budget

Governor Walz and House DFL know that Minnesotans want investments to help us build back from the pandemic and thrive into the future. Our top priorities must be to address the needs of students, families and small businesses. The Governor included over $100 million in recovery funds to help our communities that were devastated by the unrest caused by George Floyd's murder We have to take bold action to reduce inequality and opportunity gaps in our state.

You can see the full budget here:


Keep in touch

If you have friends, neighbors, or co-workers who might be interested in subscribing to this newsletter, they can do so here, and follow me on Facebook here. I’m grateful for the honor of serving you and our community. Please, now more than ever, feel free to reach out to my office.

Rep. Hodan Hassan,
531 State Office Building
(651) 296-0294