I hope you and your family have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Here’s an update from the Capitol:
The 2020 legislative session adjourned on Sunday evening. The Minnesota House and Senate came together to get good, bipartisan work done this year. When COVID-19 emerged, we created a fund to purchase critical equipment and supplies, ensured health care workers and first responders would receive workers’ compensation benefits if they contract the virus, and provided resources and flexibility for Minnesotans. We delivered aid for those struggling with housing and food security, funding for child care, small business loans, assistance for veterans, and more. We also passed the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, the Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act, and a bipartisan bill to protect the safety and security of elections.
However, much more needs to be done to protect Minnesotans’ health and economic well-being. We still need to reach an agreement on a Jobs and Local Projects Plan, which would help our economy recover by investing in public infrastructure and creating good-paying jobs across the state. In the House, we put forth a strong Jobs and Local Projects Plan that contained several projects in our area. The bill included Bemidji’s water treatment plant, which needs a new filtration system to remove perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) from the city’s drinking water, sewer and water system improvements for Deer River, grant funding to help the Northwest Indian Community Development Center purchase the Bemidji building they currently operate in, and more. I’ll keep advocating for important projects like these as we work to find a bipartisan agreement.
Without question, this year’s Memorial Day will be different. Due to social distancing guidelines, instead of ceremonies taking place in person at our State Veterans Cemeteries, the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs will produce a Virtual Memorial Day Program entitled “Always Remember: A Minnesota Tribute to Veterans We’ve Lost.” It will be broadcast across the state on TPT’s Minnesota Channel at 7:30 p.m. on Monday. TPT will also stream it online here. Minnesotans will still be able to pay tribute in person, and the State Veterans Cemeteries will remain open. However, visitors are encouraged to limit groups to 10 or fewer and follow the Stay Safe MN order.
The Cass Lake American Legion Post #284 will conduct a short Memorial Day program on Monday. The Honor Guard, of which I’m a member, will provide a 21-gun salute at Pine Grove Cemetery at 10:30 a.m., Fohn Cemetery at 11 a.m., and Farris Cemetery at 11:30 a.m. At 12 p.m., we’ll present our final salute at the Highway 2 Rest Area on the shore of Cass Lake, where we do a salute to Veterans lost at sea.
Throughout the course of our nation's history, men and women have answered the call of service. In the course of their duty, many of them have made the ultimate sacrifice toward the betterment of this country. This weekend, please take time to reflect upon the loss of our fallen heroes.
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