Last week, state legislators announced a new Reproductive Freedom Caucus to promote and protect the reproductive rights of all Minnesotans. I am proud to be a member of this caucus and look forward to continuing this important and necessary work. You can watch the press conference announcing this new caucus here.
The Frontline Worker Pay Group continues their work of determining how best to allocate federal funds to Minnesota frontline workers. This group needs to come to a decision before the Legislature can vote on it. Instead of working on a plan to support Minnesota’s essential workers, however, Senate Republicans recently called on the Governor to convene a special session without an agreement that protects hardworking State Commissioners. Senate Republicans are deflecting the issue at hand, putting Minnesotans’ health at risk by threatening to fire the state’s top health official, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm, amid a global pandemic, when Minnesota’s hospitals are full and COVID-19 cases are rising. Now is not the time to play politics and stonewall critical work that will help Minnesotans.
Seed Grants Available
Seed Grants are available from the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) for community-based projects related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicles & energy storage. Amounts are typically in the $2,000 to 5,000 range and can cover labor and supplies, but not equipment. Past Seed grant recipients have been Quarry Hill, Castle Community, Olmsted County, a variety of schools, churches, and community centers, non-profits, and several cities in the region. Anything that saves or produces energy is eligible. Grant applications are due Oct 8. Learn more here.
Utility assistance has been extended throughout the state. This is critical as we head into winter and heating bills begin to build up. If you or someone you know has lower income and needs help with utilities, applications for assistance can be completed here.
We continue to see significant spread of the Covid-19 virus across the state. It’s important for all of us to work together to keep everyone in our community safe and healthy. If you are not yet vaccinated, I encourage you to do so. You can find information here. If you have questions, I encourage you to reach out to a trusted and reliable source, such as your healthcare provider. The Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC are also valuable resources.
It is also important to continue the other safe behaviors we know to be effective in keeping our community safe. If you are not feeling well, or suspect you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, please get tested; you can find resources here. I also encourage everyone to follow the CDC guidelines and wear a mask indoors in public spaces and outdoors when in crowded settings and large groups. We all wish the pandemic was over, but the reality is that it is not and this is how we protect each other, especially all kids under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated. We will get through this by working together.
Federal health officials have now authorized Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for seniors and high-risk adults who received their second Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago.
Minnesotans who got the Pfizer vaccine can now get a Pfizer booster at least six months after their initial series according to the following guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Minnesotans with an underlying medical condition should speak with their health care provider about whether a booster is right for them. The list of medical conditions categorized as high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is available here.
Do not get a booster shot before you are eligible. While it will be important to get your booster shot, you should only get it when it is recommended, not earlier. A booster given too early may not be as effective at increasing protection.
Research shows that the COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective at preventing severe illness and death. While boosters increase protection, people who are fully vaccinated continue to have good protection against severe illness and hospitalization, even once it starts to decline.
High School Page Program
The start of the legislative session is around the corner and now is the time for high school juniors to apply for the High School Page Program. Students have the unique opportunity to learn firsthand about various aspects of the state legislature. The weeklong program allows participants to get a front row seat to the legislative process and get involved in policy and public service. You can learn about the application process and more here. The application deadline is November 23.
Every year, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources compiles a “Fall Color Finder” to show which areas of the state are in peak color change, or haven’t quite peaked yet, so you can plan your next leaf peeping adventure. I encourage you to get out and visit one of our amazing state or regional parks so you can take full advantage of our beautiful state.
Stay in Touch
I always appreciate hearing from you, so please feel free to share your questions, ideas, and feedback. Feel free to reach out to me by email at email@example.com or by phone at 651-296-9249. If you’d like to schedule a time to chat by phone or Zoom, I’m happy to do that as well. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here, and you can also follow my Facebook page here.
It’s an honor to represent our community. Please be safe and stay in touch.
With gratitude and determination,
Rep.Liz Boldon, District 25B
533 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155