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

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Legislative Update: Reproductive Freedom, Air Quality, Electric Buses

Thursday, July 21, 2022



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Dear Neighbors, 

It is an honor to represent you, our neighbors, and our Saint Paul community in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

In 2022, House DFLers focused on supporting workers, ensuring equal access and opportunity, and investing in our local communities. With a surplus this year, the legislature was able to pass many important provisions that invest in Minnesotans and the pressing challenges our state faces. The compromise budget doesn’t include everything we championed, but we made significant investments in mental health, health care access, worker protections, and agriculture. 

This is only the beginning of our work. We must address the root issues holding us back from making more significant progress including climate change and racial and economic inequality. We need to rise to this moment and harness the power of us to ensure all Minnesotans - of every race, zip code, and generation - can have an easier life.

This will be my last e-update to you until after the election, due to the 60-day rule noted below. I appreciate all of the attention you’ve given to these e-newsletters, and will look forward to starting them up again in November.

I look forward to continuing to do this work with you.


Rep. Athena Hollins


Frontline Worker Pay

The deadline for frontline workers to apply for a bonus for their work during the height of the pandemic is this TOMORROW, 7/22 AT 5 P.M. Money set aside for this program will be split equally among all approved applicants. Thank you to all who helped our society keep going at a critical time. Make sure to apply if eligible and to spread the word to friends and family.  

Bonuses Apply Now


March for Reproductive Rights

On Sunday, thousands of Minnesotans gathered in Saint Paul for the March for Abortion Access. Following the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, Minnesota will still play a key role in providing safe and legal abortion care to women in this state and those from other states seeking this medical procedure.

Last week, a state court ruling struck down many of Minnesota’s abortion restrictions, including the 24 hour abortion waiting period. The district court held these unnecessary restrictions violated the rights provided in the Minnesota Constitution. Women facing a difficult decision about their own healthcare shouldn’t have to struggle to get the care they need.

It’s clear Minnesotans will not allow politicians to interfere in health decisions between women and their doctor and I will continue working to maintain the protections Minnesota has implemented.


Emerging Leaders Workshop

I was honored to be selected to participate in the 2022 Emerging Legislative Leaders Program, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and held at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. This prestigious program is held every year on the campus of the University of Virginia for a select group of state legislators who have been nominated by the Speaker of the House, President of the Senate or Minority Leader from their state. Leaders are asked to nominate one or more members who by their actions have demonstrated those qualities we associate with leadership—integrity, compassion, intelligence, vision, and common sense.

I had a great week discussing best practices for state representatives, new policy ideas, equity initiatives, and ethical leadership.



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).  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).


Hometown Heroes Assistance Program Update

As a result of the bipartisan Hometown Heroes Assistance Program we passed into law, we’re already seeing an immense impact on firefighters' lives across the state – with free health and wellness resources to protect our hometown heroes and their families


You or a firefighter you know can access these free benefits and support today. Learn more about the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program here.


Continuing the fight to ban no-knock warrants

What is the value of a human life? Is preserving evidence worth a life? Is getting a conviction?

I was so honored to talk about my work to ban no knock warrants with Rep. Esther Agbaje and Sarah Murtada. I'm glad to be in the fight with these fierce ladies. We’ll have a podcast coming out about it soon!



Air Quality Grants

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering grants to small businesses, governmental agencies, educational institutions, and non-governmental organizations to reduce air pollution. $89,000 is available for projects that will reduce air emissions. Projects to acquire different equipment, update processes, or switch to cleaner products can save organizations money and protect the health of their employees and neighbors.

The maximum grant award is $25,000 per applicant. Applicants proposing projects at their own organization must match at least 25% of the total project cost. Applicants applying for funding to work with outside businesses do not have a match requirement.

Learn more here from the MPCA.


Support Electric Buses

MN350 does incredible work to champion climate solutions, and I was so happy to join them earlier this month for their electric school bus demonstration. It’s clear, now more than ever, that we should be fighting for a fossil fuel-free future, from schools to workplaces to homes. We had a bill that would have invested in electric buses this year, but it’s another one of the good provisions that Republicans walked away from, unfortunately.

I heard that recently, SPPS applied for 25 electric buses that would replace existing diesel buses serving our students. There’s no guarantee, but fingers crossed that the EPA will invest in clean school buses for our kids in St. Paul!



Communicating During the Legislative Interim

Friday marks the 60-day deadline from the end of the legislative session, therefore, state law dictates this will be my last update until after the election. During an election period, legislators cannot use state resources for unsolicited communications because it might create an unfair advantage for incumbents.

I can continue to help with the state-level problems and discuss important issues in our community, so if you have any questions or feedback you’d like to share, I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can send an email to or can call my office at 651-296-4224.

As always, the Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here.

Also, please visit and “like” my Facebook page for more Capitol and community updates.

Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.