I hope you and your family are safe and staying warm as we see the first snowfalls of the season!
I’ve been busy at the Capitol and in our community lately. In addition to seeking input from Minnesotans, I'm preparing legislation and working with other lawmakers to lay the foundation for next year. Here’s an update on my work, as well as some information you might find helpful:
Connecting with Minnesotans
Promoting Childhood Literacy I attended a great meeting with several legislative colleagues and staff from the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) on Wednesday morning. We discussed data around dyslexia screening and, more broadly, MDE’s robust literacy initiatives.
Childhood literacy is an important part of promoting educational equity. It’s also a critical part of public safety because there’s a direct link between educational equity and public safety. For those who are interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities in the childhood literacy realm, here is a very informative podcast:
Supporting Clean Energy This was definitely a week to focus on renewable energy. On Tuesday, I joined a remarkable group of Minnesotans at a Women in Energy gathering. We were able to hear about the recent United Nations climate summit (COP26) from Rep. Patty Acomb, who attended the summit in Glasgow. I also had the opportunity to learn more about this issue outside of the Legislature, thanks to a tour I took to learn more about a company’s sustainable design practices and usage of energy storage mechanisms in architecture. In the private sector, in public administration, and at the Legislature, a transition to clean energy is a clear priority!
Advocating for Prove It First I joined community members and other legislators from our region at a Clean Water Town Hall hosted by Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness last week. The participants shared questions, ideas, and feedback about water protection and other important environmental issues, and my colleagues and I were able to share information about the Prove It First bill, which requires proving that a copper-sulfide mine has operated for ten years and been closed for at least ten years without causing pollution before constructing one in Minnesota.
Federal Infrastructure Bill Passes As you may have heard, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law this week. This is great news for Minnesota! Thanks to this legislation, Minnesota is expected to receive:
$4.5 billion to repair and rebuild roads throughout the state
$302 million to repair and replace our bridges
$818 million to improve public transportation options
$68 million to build a network of electric vehicle chargers
$680 million to improve water infrastructure
$20 million to prevent wildfires
Our state will also benefit from other investments, such as $3.5 billion for weatherization that will help people make their homes more energy efficient and reduce their monthly bills. More information about how the federal infrastructure bill will impact Minnesota is available here.
For those who missed the Saturdays With Sandra series over the summer, here is the recorded video conversation from June with Rep. Athena Hollins on the topic of Racial Justice, Police Reform, and the 2021 Legislative Session.?
As we near the new year and the new legislative session, I would love to hear from you about your priorities for our community and our state. Your input is always greatly appreciated. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (651) 296-4331.