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Legislative Update February 9, 2023

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Legislative Update February 9, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

It is hard to believe we are already a month into this year’s legislative session! As your representative, it is my job is to be your voice at the Capitol. That is why I am looking forward to our Maplewood Legislator Town Hall coming up this Saturday, February 11th at 11:00 am at the YMCA Community Center (2100 White Bear Ave, Maplewood, MN 55109). I will be joined by Representatives Peter Fischer and Amanda Hemmingsen-Jaeger as well as Senators Tou Xiong and Nicole Mitchell to answer your questions and discuss key issues facing the legislature this session! You can RSVP on Facebook and share with your friends and family here.

Metro Parks and Trails Delegation Meeting

Yesterday, I was proud to host the Metro Parks and Trails Delegation Meeting alongside Representative Jon Koznick. It was a great opportunity for suburban members to meet and discuss funding for metro parks and trails. As Legacy Finance Committee Chair, I am dedicated to making sure that we are advocating metro-wide for these investments that are important to Minnesotans in the surrounding area!

House Floor Votes

Last week, the House passed the Drivers Licenses for All bill, which restores legal driving privileges to our undocumented neighbors. This years-long effort is led by a broad statewide coalition of immigrant-led organizations, unions, immigrants’ rights advocates, and community-based groups. I was proud to vote in support of the bill!

The House passed a bill designating Juneteenth as a state holiday last week. Juneteenth is observed on June 19th and marks the date in 1865 when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas to ensure the last enslaved people in the United States be set free, more than two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. We also passed the “Restore the Vote” Act, a bill that puts Minnesota in line with 21 other states that restore the right to vote to individuals convicted of a felony once they are released from incarceration, rather than their completion of a sentence, including probation. This bill helps correct racial disparities and reduces recidivism by helping Minnesotans reconnect to their communities after they have paid their debt to society.

Finally, this Monday we passed a bill to increase funding for our Attorney General’s office to help counties prosecute complicated criminal cases. I was proud to vote for this bill, which was supported by our Attorney General, county attorneys, and the communities and victims looking for justice. We also passed legislation to boost funding for the state’s public defenders—who currently are suffering from understaffing and pay equity issues when compared to public prosecutors. Minnesota is constitutionally obligated to provide legal representation to those who cannot afford it, and this bill makes good on that promise.

Legacy Committee Update

One-third of proceeds from the Legacy Amendment go to protecting enhancing and restoring our clean water—including drinking water sources. Last Wednesday, the Legacy Finance Committee, which I chair, heard a presentation from the Clean Water Council on all the great work that they do to protect our natural resources. We were joined by former legislator and current administrator of the council Paul Gardner who walked us through how those funds are used throughout the state.

This week, the Legacy Committee heard a presentation by the Parks and Trails fund, which receives about 14 percent of Legacy funds to enhance our wonderful parks and trails across the state, including in our district!

Keep in Touch

If you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to email me at or give me a call at (651) 296-1188. 


Leon Lillie
State Representative