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

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Session Coming to an End

Friday, May 14, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

As the 2021 Legislative Session winds down, we are working long hours to craft our state budget before the Monday deadline. It is expected we will be in floor session over the weekend while negotiations continue to finalize our state budget.

Earlier in the week, we learned Minnesota will receive additional federal money as part of the American Recovery Plan Act. Those funds will be factored into negotiations going forward. Right now, legislative leaders are meeting to set legislative ‘budget targets’ which will fix funding for each budget area.

We are currently in conference committees to review differences between each chamber’s versions of the budget bills and ultimately reach a bipartisan compromise. Our ability to work together and seek common ground is the type of government Minnesotans expect and deserve. In the session’s final days, I’m committed to putting people before politics to ensure all Minnesotans can have a strong future. Click here for a comprehensive schedule of committees thus far.

I am serving on the Education Finance conference committee where I will work to ensure that we fully fund our programs to increase teachers of color and Indigenous teachers. While this legislation would have a really positive effect on our students of color and Indigenous students, it has also proven to improve the outcomes of our white students. This is a win for everyone in our education system and it has a real chance at making it to the Governor’s desk. 

Cannabis Legalization

This week we passed HF 600, a bill which legalizes and regulates adult-use cannabis in Minnesota, while expunging records of people convicted for nonviolent offenses involving cannabis.

The war on drugs has criminalized being a Black person, Indigenous person or person of color in the US. By legalizing adult-use cannabis, expunging low-level cannabis offenses, and creating equitable programs so BIPOC communities can benefit from legalization we can bring justice to those we’ve harmed. It is time to leave harmful prohibition behind for good.

Cannabis Racial Inequality

Changes to COVID-19 Restrictions

Governor Tim Walz announced the end of Minnesota’s statewide mask requirement, aligning Minnesota with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on face coverings. Minnesotans who are not fully vaccinated are strongly recommended to wear face coverings indoors. Private businesses and local municipalities may still put in place face covering requirements. And Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect.

Minneapolis still has a mask mandate, and here is why, as tweeted from Council President Lisa Bender: “At our City Council meeting, our city Health Commissioner is explaining that the mask mandate in Minneapolis will stay in place because while 71% of white people have received one dose, that number is 28% of our Black neighbors and 35% for Latino people in Minneapolis.”

If every Minnesotan who can continues to get vaccinated, and those who aren’t yet vaccinated continue to mas,k we will soon be able to return to normal. We still aren’t out of the woods, but we are very close.

Direct Scheduling for Vaccinations Now Available

Minnesotans can now use the Vaccine Connector to directly schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the state’s Community Vaccination Program locations. You can visit to directly schedule appointments at Community Vaccination locations around the state. Here is how you can get your shot:

Visit to Brooklyn Center

Shortly after police killed Daunte Wright I visited Brooklyn Center with Rep. Samantha Vang (who represents Brooklyn Center, along with several other People of Color and Indigenous (POCI) Caucus members, to show our support and solidarity. Being there brought me back to last year where our community suffered so much following the murder of George Floyd. We must continue to fight against police violence and reimagine public safety so it puts communities and our Black, Brown and Indigenous neighbors first.


Rental Assistance

Rent help is now available if you have fallen behind on rent, utilities, or have an upcoming rent payment you won’t be able to make. A Renter’s Checklist is available here to help determine eligibility and ensure you have everything needed to apply. Please learn more and apply for aid here.

Energy Assistance

The Minnesota Department of Commerce has funds available for Energy Assistance, and the recently approved federal stimulus includes over $100 million for Minnesota’s Energy Assistance Program, nearly doubling the amount of support. If you qualify, you could receive significant assistance to help pay your energy bills. Eligible applicants receive an initial grant between $300 and $1,600 for energy expenses and can be eligible for up to $1,200 more to help pay overdue bills, avoid a utility shut off, or get a fuel delivery. There are energy service organizations (CAPs and others) across the state providing energy assistance services. There is a map that denotes these providers across Minnesota. Eligibility is based on income and family size. Individuals need to earn less than $28,266 to qualify, while families of four can earn up to $54,357. You can learn more 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