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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kaela Berg (DFL)

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Final Weeks of Session

Friday, May 7, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Overall, the biggest responsibility for lawmakers this session is to enact a new two-year state budget. The House has approved all of our budget bills off the floor, all of which were put together with the goal of helping workers, small businesses, students, and families all emerge from the challenges of the past year with the ability to succeed and thrive. Here are each of the bills we’ve passed:

The next step is for joint House/Senate 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 weeks, 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 proud to serve on the Workforce and Business Development conference committee. I will make sure that workers are represented so we create a budget that supports them in every facit. The House DFL has strong proposals to increase worker rights, close the gender pay gap, and that ensures workers can return to work when COVID-19 comes to an end. These proposals will help all Minnesotans and I will work to convince our Republican colleagues of their importance. 

Changes to COVID-19 Restrictions

Governor Walz announced COVID-19 restrictions will be removed as more Minnesotans continue to get vaccinated and our infection rates continue to go down. These changes will take place over the course of three steps.

Step one takes place at noon on May 7. It includes initial steps to relax some restrictions, primarily in outdoor settings:

  • Removes limits for outdoor dining, events, and other get-togethers, and ends the mask requirement outdoors except at large venues with over 500 people.
  • Eliminates the state-established mandatory closing time for bars, restaurants, and food and beverage service at other places of public accommodation.

Step two begins on May 28. Remaining capacity and distancing limits will come to an end, including for indoor events and gatherings. The requirements that will remain include:

  • Face coverings indoors and for outdoor events that exceed 500 people.
  • Businesses and other venues must have plans that keep their employees and customers safe – as they have from the beginning of the pandemic – guided only by a minimal universal state guidance document that includes no new requirements.

The third step takes place once 70 percent of Minnesotans age 16 years and older – 3,087,404 Minnesotans – get at least one dose of the vaccine, but no later than July 1.

  • The remaining face covering requirement and the requirement for preparedness plans will end. Work on vaccines will continue, and local jurisdictions and entities may set their own mask policies.

Because the youngest Minnesotans are not yet eligible for the vaccine, the Safe Learning Plan for schools will continue until the end of the school year to protect students, teachers, and staff in schools.

Additional protections will remain, including the eviction moratorium, a ban on price gouging, and eligibility exemptions for people who receive state services. The state will continue its emergency efforts to get Minnesotans tested and vaccinated.


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:

Rental Assistance

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.

Stay in Touch

Please feel free to reach out to me by email at or by phone at 651-296-5387. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here, and follow my Facebook here. It’s an honor to represent our community. Please stay in touch.


Kaela Berg, District 56B
423 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155