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DFL Chairman's View: Minnesota rebounding with American Rescue Plan

From the column: "Biden’s infrastructure bill will increase our capacity to transport goods and tackle supply-chain issues while also lowering inflation. Things are finally on the right track."

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Bruce Plante / Cagle Cartoons
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One year ago this month, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan into law. The results of his leadership are clear: Vaccinations are up, job creation is up, our businesses are open, and our kids are safely learning in-person.

Millions of Minnesotans are benefitting from the American Rescue Plan.

The creation of a robust vaccination infrastructure has both saved lives across Minnesota and boosted our state’s economic recovery from the pandemic by making it safe for folks to get back to work. At this time last year, roughly 14% of Minnesotans were vaccinated against COVID-19. Now, almost 75% of Minnesotans have been vaccinated. That increase in vaccinations has contributed to a decrease in hospitalizations. It is heartening to see intensive care unit beds open up so care is available not only for those with COVID-19 but also for patients facing other critical health issues.

The increase in the percentage of people vaccinated is also reflected in Minnesota’s unemployment rate. The week of March 11, 2021, Minnesota’s unemployment rate was 3.7%. The week of March 11, 2022, the unemployment rate was 2.9%. People are returning to work, and Minnesota’s economy is strong.

The American Rescue Plan also helped Minnesotans balance their budgets and meet their needs through tax credits targeted to working people and families across the state. New data released by the White House shows that more than 1 million children benefited from Child Tax Credits and more than a quarter of a million workers benefited from the expanded Earned Income Tax Credit.

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Under the Child Tax Credit in Minnesota, 653,000 families with nearly 1.2 million children in Minnesota benefited from $3,000 per child ages 6-17 and $3,600 per child under 6. Reducing the number of children living in poverty is key as we work to build strong communities across the state.

The American Rescue Plan tripled the Earned Income Tax Credit in Minnesota from $540 to $1,500, which put money back in the pockets of 288,000 workers across Minnesota. That’s money that goes back into our economy as workers are able to buy food and other essentials for their families, pay rent, and balance their budgets.

The people of Minnesota voted for President Biden because he promised to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and get our economy back on track. Now, President Biden and Democrats are delivering on that promise thanks to the American Rescue Plan. In communities across the state, businesses are hiring, working families have money to spend, and kids are learning safely in schools.

The truth is, emerging from a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic won’t be a completely smooth process. A complex, globally interconnected economy is not something that can be turned off and back on again. The good news is that Biden’s infrastructure bill will increase our capacity to transport goods and tackle supply-chain issues while also lowering inflation. Things are finally on the right track, and President Biden is going to keep it that way.

The facts are clear: Minnesota and America are moving forward thanks to President Joe Biden, Democrats in Congress, and the American Rescue Plan. We need to continue this momentum in Minnesota with leaders who will support working people, stand up for families, and build opportunities for everyone to succeed.

Ken Martin is chairman of the Minnesota DFL.

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Ken Martin

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