On Thursday, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced findings that per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination had been found in 98 out of 101 closed landfills across the state, and that 59 of these closed landfills in 41 counties have levels that exceed the Minnesota Department of Health’s health-based guidance values for PFAS. PFAS are forever chemicals that have been shown to cause adverse health effects such as changes in development, liver and thyroid function, immune response, increased kidney damage, and certain cancers.
The Minnesota Senate passed bipartisan legislation (SF263) Thursday to provide tax relief to Minnesota businesses that received Paycheck Protection Plan loans and to Minnesotans that received bonus unemployment compensation from the CARES Act.
On January 6, 2021, demonstrators in Washington, D.C., vandalized public buildings, endangered the lives of lawmakers, staff, and the general public, and jeopardized the peaceful transfer of Presidential power.
On Tuesday, it was announced that Eric Dick had passed away. He had served as the manager of legislative affairs with the Minnesota Medical Association for several years and was a fixture at the Capitol on health care issues and advocacy.
Sen. Matt Klein is demanding full transparency and disclosure of all information that would assist in contact tracing for exposed members of the Senate after it was revealed that an additional Republican Senator has tested positive for COVID-19 bringing the total number of Senate Republicans who have contracted the virus following an in-person caucus meeting to 4. Despite this news, it remains unclear how many Republican Senators or staff were exposed or who has been tested or the results of these tests.
Governor Walz introduced an executive order requiring the wearing of masks in all indoor public spaces and businesses for Minnesotans aged 6 and over. In response, the three DFL doctors of the Minnesota Legislature, Senator Matt Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights), Representative Alice Mann (DFL-Lakeville), and Representative Kelly Morrison (DFL-Deephaven) released the following statement supporting the Governor’s decision.