Governor Walz recently announced a three-step plan to end most of Minnesota’s COVID-19 restrictions. The first phase began last Thursday, when certain capacity limits and distancing requirements were lifted. The remaining capacity and distancing restrictions will end on May 28. The final step of the governor’s plan – ending the statewide mask requirement – will take effect once 70 percent of Minnesotans who are 16 or older are vaccinated or on July 1, whichever comes first.
Since many young people aren’t yet eligible for the vaccine, the Safe Learning Plan will continue until the end of the year. The eviction moratorium, a ban on price gouging, and eligibility exemptions for those who receive state services will also remain in place to protect Minnesotans.
If you haven’t gotten your shot, I encourage you to check out the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. This free resource helps Minnesotans find convenient opportunities to get vaccinated. Many locations in our community and across the state are now accepting walk-ins as well.
Update from the Capitol
With less than one week remaining in this year’s legislative session, there is a lot of work to be accomplished. The House and the Senate have both passed budget bills – comprehensive plans for each area of the budget that contain many individual bills we worked on this year – but in many cases, there are significant differences between the two versions. To resolve these differences, legislators from both chambers meet in joint “conference committees.” Committee members are comparing the House and Senate bills, gathering input from Minnesotans, and trying to find a compromise. While it’s a difficult task, I remain committed to this important work.
My goal is to ensure the state budget addresses our community’s needs and reflects our values as Minnesotans. I would like to thank those of you who have taken the time to share your experiences and priorities with me, including those who completed my legislative survey this year. If you haven’t responded to the survey yet, please take a few minutes to do so. I will keep your input in mind during the final days of session and beyond.
Rent and Energy Assistance Available
Help is available for low- and moderate-income Minnesotans who are struggling to make rent or utility payments due to COVID-19. You can determine if you’re eligible for assistance by downloading a renter checklist and visit renthelpmn.org to apply.
Additional assistance is available for people who need help with utility payments, disconnections or fuel deliveries, and repairing or replacing heating systems. You can learn more about the Energy Assistance Program here.
If you’d like to stay informed as we work to craft a budget that works for Minnesotans, you can find updates on my Facebook page. Fell free to share this email with family, friends, and neighbors who might be interested; if they’d like to subscribe, they can do so at https://bit.ly/SandellUpdates.
Please continue sharing questions and feedback, and let me know if I can be of assistance. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-1147.