In the 2019 Session, Senate Republicans wanted to increase education funding by just a half-percent per pupil. They also ignored the special education cost increases, putting schools across the state in a budget hole.
Every child deserves a high-quality education, and unfortunately, many children in our state are facing opportunity gaps due to funding. We need to invest in education to ensure that every student, regardless of their race or zip code, have an opportunity to succeed.
Low funding for education hurts all of us. It hurts families, schools, and most importantly, doesn’t enhance academic success for Minnesota’s students. High quality education gives all Minnesota students the opportunity to succeed, and we must work together to ensure that.
We must work together to build a state that ensures all Minnesotans have access to high quality education. High quality education gives all Minnesota students the opportunity to succeed, regardless of race, gender, or geographic location.
Teachers continue to shape and help our children grow, and we know that in order for our students to exceed, we need quality teachers in our schools. Investing in education is crucial to retain these quality teachers, and will encourage more to join the teaching profession.
The Senate DFL solution: The Senate DFL has been working to pass an emergency insulin bill for more than a year. We’re glad Senate Republicans have finally come to the table to reach an agreement on a bill that will help address the crisis of unaffordable insulin. It should have happened sooner given there are Minnesotans that literally cannot afford to wait for access to affordable insulin.
Making emergency insulin accessible and affordable: Minnesotans with less than a seven-day insulin supply who are uninsured or are unable to pay out-of-pocket prescription costs of $75 or more will now pay no more than $35 to get a 30-day supply from a pharmacy. Additionally,insulin manufacturers will now be required to provide patient assistance programs that offer a 90-day supply for no more than $50 to those with diabetes whose family income is less than 400% of federal poverty guidelines (about $51,000 for individuals or $104,800 for a family of 4).
Fines for manufacturers who do not comply with the requirements of the bill have increased to $200,000/month, increasing to $400,000/month after 6 months of noncompliance, and increasing to $600,000/month after 1 year of noncompliance. Money will go to a separate insulin assistance account in the special revenue fund.
Some people left behind: This agreement still leaves some people behind by requiring Minnesotans with diabetes or their guardians to show proof of Minnesota residency with an identification card, driver’s license, or permit – meaning if a minor’s parent is undocumented, they won’t be able to participate.
Today, we finally passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act that provides emergency insulin to those in need! This was long overdue, but I am proud of the Legislature for coming together and getting this done. #mnleg
DFLers have worked tirelessly this past year to pass an emergency insulin program that saves the lives of Minnesotans, and today, the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act passed the Legislature! #mnleg
The Minnesota Legislature just passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act! Passing this important bill resulted from the hard work of many insulin advocates throughout the state. Minnesota thanks you! #mnleg
The passing of the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act is long overdue, but I am proud of the Legislature for coming together today to pass a bill that will save the lives of Minnesotans. Although this is progress, this bill still leaves some people behind – we will continue to fight for you until every single Minnesotan with diabetes can access affordable insulin.
Today is a big day for Minnesota. The Senate DFL has worked tirelessly this last year to pass an emergency insulin program – and despite the many obstacles Senate Republicans have thrown at us, I am proud that Minnesota has finally passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act! No Minnesota should lose their life because they cannot afford a life-saving drug
A bill to create a paid family and medical leave program, which passed several House committees and is included in the House economic development budget. The bill was not heard in the Senate. (HF5/SF1060)
Provides Minnesota workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave in the event a family member becomes ill, to bond with a child, and to recover from a pregnancy or a serious health condition.
#PaidFamilyLeave #PaidLeave4All #TimeToCare #MNLeg
Many Minnesotans lack access to paid family and medical leave benefits forcing them to choose between collecting a paycheck or caring for a loved one.
I support paid family and medical leave, because everyone should be able to take the time to care for themselves and loved ones without risking their job.
Not only is paid family and medical leave good for employees, it’s also great for businesses. Studies have shown that ensuring these benefits for employees lead to reduced job turnover, decreased presenteeism, reduced injuries, and overall better mental health of employees.
Senate Republicans continue to halt progress around paid family and medical leave. They have successfully stopped paid leave, and pushed legislation prohibiting cities from developing their own wage and benefit requirements. Workers deserve better than this.
Gun Violence Prevention
DFLers proposed two sensible gun violence prevention bills that have been proven to save lives. Republicans refused to hear both bills, and when forced to vote on them, voted against protecting Minnesotans.
#ProtectMN #EnoughIsEnough #MNLeg
Two crucial gun violence prevention bills were heard last session that would have kept Minnesotans safe, and Republicans refused to take a vote on them. Minnesotans deserve a legislature that takes action to curb the epidemic of senseless gun violence and one that works to keep our communities safe.
Mass shootings around the country are happening at alarming rates. We can take action by passing effective common-sense gun violence prevention laws – ones that keep our homes, schools, places of worship, and communities safe.
Our leaders of tomorrow are calling on us to take action against senseless gun violence. With common-sense gun safety laws and extreme risk protection orders, we can make our communities safer. The time is now.
Support for gun violence prevention among Minnesotans is broad as well as deep and crosses political, urban and rural, and gun owner and non-owner lines. We need to take action and pass common-sense gun violence prevention laws to help keep our communities safe.
Workers’ Compensation Protections
This will now provide access to workers’ compensation claims for several occupations. This includes: licensed peace officers; firefighters; paramedics; nurses, healthcare workers, correction officers, and security counselors employed by the state or a political subdivision at a corrections, detention, or secure treatment facility; emergency medical technicians; health care providers, nurses, and assistive employees employed in a health care, home care, or long term care setting, with direct COVID-19 patient care or ancillary work in COVID-19 patient units; and workers who are required to provide childcare to first responders and health care workers under Executive Orders 20-02 and 20-19.
Our first responders and health care workers are on the front line of protecting our communities during this pandemic. Today’s legislation gives them the worker’s compensation protection they need and deserve. #mnleg
-MN’s first responders and health care workers have made personal sacrifices in order to keep all of us safe. We value their incredible work and I am grateful we were able to come together to ensure they have the worker’s compensation protections they rightfully deserve. #mnleg
Today, our four caucuses worked together to ensure our first responders and health care workers have the worker’s compensation protections they need and deserve. Across the state, they have made incredible sacrifices in order to keep Minnesotans safe. #mnleg
Our first responders and health care workers have been on the front line of #COVID19 doing all they can to keep Minnesotans safe. I am proud of the legislature for coming together and passing legislation that ensures they have worker’s compensation protections. #mnleg
Peacetime Emergency & Stay-at-home Order
Minnesota has the lowest rate of cases of COVID per capita in the country. That means we are doing better than every other state in controlling the spread of this virus. It’s working because we are listening to public health professionals, and we as average citizens and as legislators are supporting their recommendation.
If/when they try to suspend the rules — Consequences of ending the peacetime emergency: The motion to suspend the rules and end the peacetime emergency is a motion to quit fighting the disease. Our health care professionals on the front lines of this pandemic have asked us to stay home so they can do their job efficiently. Ending the peacetime emergency too soon risks hospitals becoming overcapacity with the lack of necessary resources. We would lose the progress we made and put more lives at risk.
Sacrifices made by communities: The sacrifices every Minnesotan has been asked to make are hard, but they are working. If we move too quickly, this sacrifice will be jeopardized, and people will be at unnecessary risk. Staying at home has cost us a lot, but it has bought our public healthcare network invaluable time in building out its ability to prepare. We know it’s coming, but we’ve pushed out the peak which will save lives.
Our jobs as legislators: Taking steps for the prevention of even one unnecessary death is worth it. Our most important duty as elected officials is to keep Minnesotans safe.
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By ending the peacetime emergency, we risk defeating the progress we have made. We put ourselves, our families, and the very communities we represent at harm. By ending the peacetime emergency, we will lose loved ones and watch those around us suffer.
I share the concerns of our small business owners and others who are being asked to stay closed. We’ve taken steps to help, and we must do more, but we need to make sure when they reopen, customers are there without fear.
The data we have available shows that the Governor and his team are doing better than every other state in the country – and they are working just as hard to find the right path forward. We cannot allow armchair experts to outweigh our public health community.
We are lucky to have international leaders like the Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota, 3M, and other critical industries in our backyard. Minnesota’s COVID-19 approach is a public-private partnership that is united in preventing unnecessary harm to our state.
Minnesota has taken the right approach in slowing the rate of infection and building up our health care capacity, yet we still face obstacles from the federal government in getting enough testing or PPE. If Washington won’t lead, Minnesota will.
Pointed Suggest Social
75% of Minnesota’s legislative doctors agree with the Governor’s policy and are taking this seriously. 25% of legislative doctors are spreading misinformation, minimizing the risk of this threat to our families.
The members of this chamber come from a lot of different backgrounds and have a lot of valuable opinions. But none of us are epidemiologists. Let us make decisions that put health first, that are backed up by science.
Now more than ever we need to make decisions based on science and facts. We cannot dabble in conspiracy theories – this is not “just the flu”. The flu doesn’t overwhelm our health care network.
It is unfortunate some politicians are making this a partisan issue. Minnesotans need to follow the valid modeling and science and refute calls to lift the order based on opinions, sentiments, and partisan politics.
COVID-19 Emergency Packages
The Minnesota Senate and House met in session for the first time since the adoption of an “on-call” posture to pass new measures strengthening Minnesota’s response to the spread of COVID-19. The relief package of $331.5 million was put together to help families, businesses, and state agencies respond to the growing effects of COVID-19 on the state’s economy, as well as implement policy changes necessary to provide economic security and safety for Minnesotans.
Approximately $200 million of the funding will be going to the newly created COVID-19 Minnesota Fund. The money in the fund will be available for the Commissioner of Management and Budget (MMB), who can transfer it to agencies as necessary to protect Minnesotans from the COVID-19 outbreak and to maintain the operations of government during the peacetime emergency. “This was a key request from Gov. Walz to give his agencies the flexibility they needed to deal with the outbreak,” Sen. Frentz said. “This fund could be used to pay for increased health care and staffing costs in prison facilities, staffing and overtime in direct care and treatment facilities, and resources for potential response activities by the Minnesota National Guard.”
Several other critical needs received additional funding in response to the effects of COVID-19. Approximately $2.4 million will go to the Department of Vehicle Services to increase their capacity to process drivers’ licenses. Food shelf programs would receive $9 million, while housing supports would receive $5.5 million. Childcare grants totaling $29.9 million would be available to help providers. Assistance for military veterans would total $6.2 million. Finally, $26.3 million would be available for first responders in the form of Emergency Services Grants.
Food Security Budget Package
- Now more than ever, Minnesotans will need food security in their lives as they face significant uncertainty and disruption. This funding will shore up our emergency food system – food banks, food shelves, and local partners – and help thousands of families in need.
- Food insecurity is already a challenge for thousands of Minnesotans, and the effects of COVID-19 will challenge our emergency food system even more. Today’s bill will strengthen our food banks, shelves, and local partners ability to meet the needs of Minnesotans.
Homelessness and Housing Package
- Minnesotans experiencing homelessness are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Today’s bill will help provide safe spaces and necessary resources to mitigate additional spread of the disease and keep our communities safe.
- Individuals experiencing homelessness have higher exposure to COVID-19. Today’s bill will provide additional emergency homeless shelters, hygiene/sanitation supplies for homeless shelters, a temporary increase in housing support and other resources for shelters to expand staff.
Child Care Emergency Grants
- Our child care providers have stayed open to help keep other essential workers on the job. Todays legislation will award grants to licensed family and center-based child care providers to help them with additional operation costs during #COVID19.
- Child care providers across Minnesota have stepped up in the midst of #COVID19 in order to help our families and communities. That is why we passed a child care emergency grant package that will help with additional costs and forgone incomes for child care providers.
Anti-Stigma around COVID-19
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we are seeing an increased amount of discrimination against Asian-Americans.
In this unprecedented time, our Asian American communities are facing heightened discrimination due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need to exemplify exactly what it means to be Minnesotan and denounce bigotry and racism. Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we.
Each of us has a responsibility to our community to ensure we share factual and accurate information on COVID-19. Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we. Let’s support and care for each other as #OneMinnesota.
Our Asian American community here in Minnesota has been facing heightened discrimination during this COVID-19 pandemic. As Minnesotans, we come together and support each other in hard times. Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we.
Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we. We beat COVID-19 by coming together, supporting one another, and sharing accurate information.
MVP Day of Action: Who Cares for Us
Minnesotans across the state are uplifting stories and thanking those who are caring during these unprecedented times. #WhoCaresForUs #MNLeg
Minnesotans – no matter our race, religion or zip code – care deeply about our families. We’ve seen healthcare workers, public school employees, childcare workers, janitors & more step up during this crisis and keep us safe. Now let’s build a gov’t #WhoCaresForUs. #mnleg
Minnesotans believe in a government #WhoCaresForUs. This crisis shows why we need Earned Sick & Safe Time + Paid Family & Medical Leave so we can be with our families at the start of life, the end, or if health issues arise anytime in the middle. Let’s make it happen! #mnleg
How our leaders act in this crisis speaks volumes about #WhoCaresForUs. Minnesotans believe in a government that protects our health and our lives – let’s make sure that our budgets and policies reflect that. #mnleg
All Minnesotans–no exceptions–need to be able to remain in our homes, keep our lights on, and put food on our tables. It’s time #mnleg shows #WhoCaresForUs by ensuring we make it through this pandemic together, no matter our zip code or what’s in our wallets.
Minnesotas are stepping up to care for one another during this pandemic. Shouldn’t #mnleg be doing the same? We are creating a state government #WhoCaresForUs, in policies, budgets, and priorities.
Minnesotans are proving that we pull through by pulling together. #mnleg can do the same: ensure that each working person #WhoCaresForUs has the equipment they need to stay safe, and that all of us can remain in our homes, keep our lights on, and put food on our tables.
Minnesotans take care of each other. #COVID19 has seen healthcare, grocery store & school employees stepping up to keep us safe. But too many workers who have always been essential struggle to make ends meet. As we fight this pandemic, we will see #WhoCaresForUs. #mnleg
Minnesotans have shown during #COVID19 that we’re all in this together. As we deal with the pandemic & economic fallout, we are joining together to win a government #WhoCaresForUs so our #mnvalues that we’ve shown during this crisis are reflected in our budget and policies.
A big THANK YOU to all those #WhoCaresForUs. But we know ‘thank you’ alone isn’t enough for those keeping us safe & healthy during #COVID19. It’s time we all chip in our fair share to build a future where every family – no matter our race, religion or zip code – can thrive.