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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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Legislative Update: No Special Session

Tuesday, June 21, 2022




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Dear Neighbors,

It's been announced there will be no special session. I'm frustrated and I'm angry. It's our job to invest in our communities and improve our state. The Senate GOP walking away from that job, and from their budget deal with House leadership, is a slap in the face to Minnesotans. I didn’t realize that the values of working families- affordable housing, accessible healthcare, transportation, fully funded public education- were able to just be ignored to this degree.

We spent months negotiating in good faith to be able to use the surplus for our communities. We even came to an agreement on tax cuts (largely for well-off individuals) in exchange for investment in healthcare, education, crime prevention, clean energy, and infrastructure. It seems that GOP elected officials do not want to do the work of explaining to their base that these important investments do not equal big government; they equal adequate government.

Months and months of work this year amounted to nothing because the Senate walked away. I am so grateful for all of the volunteers, advocates, experts, and staff that work tirelessly, crafting and organizing around important legislation. My only hope is that we will have a more favorable legislature towards Minnesotan values after November.


What Republicans Blocked

We have more work to do to build a Minnesota where everyone can thrive. I will continue to advocate for: 

  • Affordable and accessible healthcare, including mental health and disability services.
  • Affordable and accessible housing and fair renter protection.
  • 100 percent clean energy.
  • Supporting our students and teachers with the investment they need.
  • Fully funding the Special Education and English Learner programs.
  • Public safety for everyone by enacting meaningful safety and police accountability measures, including a ban on no-knock warrants.
  • Paid family and medical leave and earned sick and safe time. Further worker protections so companies like Amazon can’t harm their workers.
  • Unemployment Insurance expansion for school workers.
  • Corporations paying their fair share in taxes so we can invest in kids, families, and communities.
  • Legalizing and safely regulating cannabis in an equitable manner.
Bonuses Apply Now

July 22nd Deadline to Apply for Frontline Worker Bonus

Workers who were on the frontline of the pandemic have another month to apply for a bonus of up to $750. Money set aside for this program will be split equally among all approved applicants. Minnesotans are very appreciative of those who put themselves in harm’s way and encourage workers to apply if eligible and to spread the word to friends and family.


Post 9/11 Veterans Can Now Apply for Bonus

The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) has a long history of awarding service bonuses to Minnesota 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. MDVA recognizes the sacrifices and courage Minnesotans took to defend our country.

The 2022 Legislature passed, and Governor Walz signed, the first-ever Veterans Omnibus Bill including funding for a service bonus payable to eligible Veterans who served from 9/11/01 to 8/30/21. MDVA is honored to facilitate this program for eligible Veterans, currently serving service members, or Veterans' beneficiaries. Learn more here.


COVID-19 Update

Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID-19 tests. Click here to place your order.  You can also call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).  Also, a reminder Americans over 50 and those 12 years and older who are immunocompromised can receive a second COVID-19 booster shot. 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).


Keep in Touch

What are your thoughts on the news that we won’t be able to have a special session? I would love to hear from you. You can always reach me at Also please take a moment to follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more frequent news.

Yours truly,