Updated: January 23, 2021 10:30 PM
Created: January 23, 2021 03:44 PM
Across the country, cities and states are coming to the table with many priorities for the 2021 legislative session.
On Saturday, DFL legislators from the City of Duluth held a virtual town hall meeting to hear from citizens and discuss their priorities for the 2021 legislative session.
They said one of the biggest priorities on the table is how to address the COVID-19 pandemic in the new year.
Jen Schultz, who represents District 7A, highlighted progress she said has been made so far in making COVID-19 related healthcare affordable.
“Initially, we made sure that people didn't have to make co-payments for the diagnosis of COVID, for the treatment of COVID, that they wouldn't be exposed to out of pocket spending if they went out of network so we really tried to protect people and get people the care they needed,” Schultz said.
Meanwhile, Liz Olson, who represents House District 7B, pointed to efforts she says have provided worker's comp for first responders and teachers who may be exposed to COVID-19.
“As our teachers are going back and not all of them are vaccinated and there is exposure to COVID, we want to make sure that they are safe and able to take time off and not lose finances due to that,” Olson said. Moving forward, Duluth’s newest Senator, Jen McEwen, who represents District 7, said she'd like to see single payer healthcare.
“I am one of the people who feel that if there has ever been to have single payer, to adopt single payer healthcare, it’s in the middle of a pandemic where we have people losing their employment and then therefore, losing their healthcare,” McEwen said.
All three legislators added they'd like to see vaccinations for everyone who needs them and hope to help tackle those efforts.
WDIO reached out to GOP leaders to ask about their priorities for the 2021 legislative session and are waiting to hear back.