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Legislative Update – January 9, 2024

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Legislative Update – January 9, 2024

Dear Neighbors,

Happy New Year! I wish you a happy and healthy 2024 and want to share some of the biggest accomplishments from last year’s legislative session. You can also find great articles from The Pioneer Press on the results of our whirlwind session and one on laws that came into effect on January 1st.

Capitol Photo

Free College Tuition

Our North Star Promise Act will increase access to college for thousands of students in the state. Beginning in fall 2024, the North Star Promise (NSP) Scholarship program will create a tuition and fee-free pathway to higher education for Minnesota residents in families making under $80,000 at state colleges and universities. You can find more information on the Office of Higher Education’s webpage here.

Earned Sick and Safe Time

On January 1st, our Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) law came into effect. It requires employers to provide one hour of sick and safe time for every 30 hours worked and can earn a maximum of 48 hours each year unless the employer agrees to a higher amount. An employee is eligible for sick and safe time if they work at least 80 hours in a year for an employer in Minnesota, and are not an independent contractor. You can find more information on the Department of Labor and Industry’s page here.


Paid Family and Medical Leave

We also passed a Paid Family and Medical Leave law, which will go into effect on January 1, 2026. This state-run program will cover all workers to ensure that they can take time off to take care of themselves or a loved one when they are sick. The program will help businesses of all sizes cover the cost of leave and ensure that no matter where you work, you don’t have to put a paycheck over your health. You can find more information here.

Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis

Last session perhaps our most-watched bill was legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis. Our old cannabis laws were doing more harm than good, and it was time for legalization. This legislation creates a safe, well-regulated legal marketplace for Minnesotans over the age of 21. It prioritizes automatic expungement of prior marijuana convictions, and it puts health and safety regulations on these products. You can learn more including the timeline for businesses at this site.

Cannabis graphic

Restoring Voting Rights

Another important piece of legislation we passed last year restores the right to vote to Minnesotans who have served their prison sentence and are now on parole. This law enfranchised thousands of Minnesotans who now will be able to fully participate in our democracy, reducing the likelihood of recidivism. This law went into effect on June 1st of last year, and you can learn more at the Secretary of State’s website here.

Universal School Meals

Our Free School Meals Act has been in place since July 1st, 2023, and has been providing meals to children in schools across the state. We heard from students how hard it is to succeed in school when you were worried and shamed for not being able to afford lunch, and the system in place was letting too many students fall through the cracks. That’s why I was proud to vote for our universal school meals bill to ensure no student has to learn on an empty stomach.

Universal School Meals

Session Priorities Constituent Survey

As we prepare for the upcoming 2024 legislative session, House DFLers want to hear about the issues most important to you.

That’s why I wanted to share with you our Minnesota Values Project Survey, an easy way to share your values, hopes, challenges, and ideas with us on solutions at the legislature. It only takes a few minutes to fill out, and can be found here or using the QR code below.

2023 MVP Survey QR Code

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