Dear Friends and Neighbors,

With the second week of session behind us the work is already moving swiftly. Bills are being printed and dropped and critical discussions about the budget are being prepared. Due to the inability to get bills jacketed and sent over in person, we had to develop new and innovative ways to get our jacketed bills over to the other chamber. There is already a massive influx of the bill requests and the the added new process makes it somewhat of a challenge. Never the less, the legislative session will only ramp up from here and it is full speed ahead!

Today is my daughter Hope’s birthday. Happy Birthday Hope, you continue to educate this dad and I love you so much. Happy Birthday.Image

I would also like to acknowledge that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is this coming Monday. This is a day of reflection as we consider the service and sacrifice of a man that showed us what it is to dream of excellence and solidarity, and as a country he unified us in many ways. It is also a day to reflect on how far we still have to go to create a just  world for all. Thank you for your service and reminding all of us that we can and should dream for inclusion and justice for all. Here is to you Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

And thank you all for the honor of serving as your State Senator. Please reach out if you have any ideas and thoughts to share, all of my offices contact information is at the bottom of the page. I can only represent you at my best when you have reached out to let me know what you think.



Meetings for the Year

We will be starting the year in a hybrid legislative format, meaning that some Senators will continue to work remotely while others will be in-person at the Capitol. Most Monday through Thursdays, I will be at the Capitol and you’ll see me on the Senate Floor. 

Committees this year will start this year with all members on Zoom. As vaccine distribution increases, and cases of COVID-19 wane, we will enter a hybrid model of committee attendance. Due to the unpredictable nature of the virus, we do not have a rigid timeline when this will happen but will update you as we are informed of changes. You can watch committees and floor online by clicking HERE.

With threats of armed protest, the Senate encourages Minnesotans to avoid the Capitol

Following the assault on the U.S. Capitol, reports have surfaced of the potential of white nationalist and far-right groups instigating violence at state capitols throughout the country — including at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, over the next few days through the inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden.

While the State Capitol Complex will be secure and under the protection of the Minnesota State Patrol and the Minnesota National Guard, the Senate DFL is encouraging Minnesotans to avoid the state capitol and counter protesting in the proximity of these potentially dangerous gatherings until the threat has passed.

The reports of planned demonstrations by supremacists, militia members, and other extremists right here in Minnesota should concern each and every Minnesotan — and present a real and credible danger to the community and public. The first priority must be the safety of Minnesotans and each other. We are thankful for the fast response of our State Patrol in keeping our Capitol safe. We are discouraging people and groups from planning any counter protests that may be targeted by these groups over the next week.  Stay home and stay safe. 

Health and Human Services

The Senate Human Services Reform Committee heard a presentation this week on our state’s Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP). This program serves some of our lowest-income families with children. Parents are expected to work, and the state provides cash and food assistance to help families meet their basic needs. About 27,000 families and 55,000 children in Minnesota rely on temporary help from MFIP while they seek financial stability through employment. Families participating have had very little access to COVID-19 relief as they are not eligible for unemployment insurance and many did not receive the federal government’s COVID-19 stimulus relief checks.


Regent candidate recommendations announced
This week the Regent Candidacy Council recommended 12 candidates to fill four open spots on the University Board of Regents. The Board of Regents fulfills a critical role with the University of Minnesota as it helps govern, sets budgets, and works with the administration to achieve all aspects of the University’s mission.

Four seats are open for appointment every two years, for a six-year term. The board seats to be filled this year are from Minnesota’s 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th Congressional Districts. The Senate Higher Education Committee announced the candidates moving forward to the Legislature are:

• CD1: Val Aarsvold, Ruth Johnson and Randy Simonson (incumbent).
• CD4: Daryl Alkire, James Farnsworth and Karen Schanfield.
• CD6: David Hoang, Michael Hsu (incumbent) and Kodi Verhalen
• CD7: Doug Huebsch, Lucas Sjostrom and Michael Yost

These recommendations will go to the House and Senate Higher Education Committees, which will recommend candidates to the full Legislature in a joint session. The recommendations to the full House and Senate are due by February 28. The House and Senate of the Legislature will then have a joint session where the Legislatures will vote on the final Regents.

Department of Corrections responds to COVID-19

The Senate Judiciary Committee met this week to hear from the Department of Corrections about their pandemic response. Incarcerated populations have seen a higher impact from this virus because of the nature of the congregated living facilities and the coming and going of prison staff, so the Department’s response has been critical in keeping all Minnesotans safe.

The department looked at COVID-19 release programs, including work release and conditional medical release, to reduce the state’s prison population. Reducing the population in the state’s prison system allowed for greater social distancing and reduced the number of individuals that might come in contact with an individual with COVID. All those released were considered low-risk and received supervision in their communities.

Mitigation and response plans are also in place for individuals that contract COVID-19 or come in close contact with a contagious person. Department staff is being screened before each shift for COVID-19 symptoms before entering any of the facilities, district field offices, and the central office.

All medical co-pays for incarcerated individuals have been waived to encourage reporting of symptoms, and there are plans for medical isolation and non-punitive quarantine for incarcerated individuals that have had close contact with an infectious person.

However, the corrections system is a congregate living situation and COVID-19 is easily spread. This is why Minnesota’s Department of Health has allocated around 400 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to treat the state’s highest-risk individuals in incarceration as part of the COVID management plan.

Over half of the roughly 7,000 individuals incarcerated in the state’s prison system have contracted COVID-19, and nine individuals have died. It is important that while supplies are limited vaccinations reach those facing the highest risks of contracting COVID-19 or facing severe illness as a result of contracting it. This includes Minnesota’s incarcerated individuals, many of whom are high-risk.

More information about COVID-19 in the state’s corrections system can be found on the department’s dashboard here.

Thank you!

It is my greatest honor to represent you the citizens of Brooklyn Park, Champlin and Coon Rapids here at our great state capitol. In addition to representing you, I absolutely enjoy it when you come visit. You must schedule with our office to arrange an appointment before any arrival, and we also do Zoom meetings! So reach out and tell me what matters to you or schedule an appointment so I can continue working on your behalf. You can reach me by email at or by phone at 651-296-4154. I am at 95 University Avenue Suite 2235 in the Minnesota Senate Building


Senator John Hoffman

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to call my office at 651-296-4154 or by e-mail at

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