As you may know, I won’t be seeking reelection to the Minnesota House this fall. This past weekend, my West Side neighbors came together to throw a block party in celebration of my years of service at the State Capitol. I’m deeply grateful to our community for the support over the past three decades, and seeing so many people come together was tremendously uplifting. My heart is full!
Public Safety Investments
More than eight weeks have now passed since the legislative session concluded. One of the biggest letdowns of this, my last session in the House, was the lack of a comprehensive package of public safety investments. Rising crime remains on people’s minds, and Minnesotans deserve thoughtful solutions to address the challenges communities are facing at this moment. We also need to make structural investments to ensure we experience positive public safety outcomes over the long term. Combating crime requires two approaches: responding quickly, and investing in prevention. We have the ability – and the financial means – to deliver resources to local communities for both law enforcement and community intervention strategies, as well as providing additional capacity for our court system. Unfortunately, Republicans in the Minnesota Senate Majority walked away from negotiations and have indicated a complete unwillingness to compromise.
With a historic budget surplus, other key investments landed short of the finish line too, including those for students, health care, services for vulnerable Minnesotans, public infrastructure, and help for workers and families to tackle increased costs. Despite a bipartisan agreement on a framework to invest the surplus, Senate Republicans wouldn’t hold up their end of the bargain to iron out the details.
This work still matters deeply, and I remain ready to come back to the table to negotiate a compromise on a public safety bill in a short special session, along with other urgent priorities. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans continue to say “no” to even having a conversation, while they rely on election-year talking points. Minnesotans deserve better, and my House DFL colleagues and I are committed to completing this work, no matter how difficult.
Frontline Worker Pay
While this legislative session had its share of disappointments, lawmakers secured a major victory for workers in the form of a $500 million investment in bonus pay for frontline workers. Workers in fields including health care, first response, child care, food, retail, and others – who all put their own health at risk during the darkest days of the pandemic – are all eligible for additional pay. These heroes kept our state moving forward during tremendous uncertainty, and these payments represent a strong token of appreciation for those who didn’t have the option to work from home.
The deadline to apply is tomorrow, Friday, July 22 at 5 p.m. Learn about eligibility requirements and submit your application here.
This will be my last e-update this summer, as legislators – whether or not they are seeking reelection – cannot send emails or postal mailings from the Capitol in an election period. Still, I’ll be your State Representative through the end of the year, so feel free to contact me anytime with your questions, comments, or if I can ever be of assistance.
You can also stay up to date with what’s happening at the State Capitol from the timely, nonpartisan resources offered by Minnesota House Public Information Services. You can subscribe to Session Daily which provides regular updates of legislative activity, watch live and archived floor sessions or committee meetings on YouTube, and check out informative publications with information about the legislature and our state government.