Legislative Update – January 19, 2023
I have been hard at work holding and attending committee hearings, meeting with constituents, and attending community events. Just last night I attended the City of Cottage Grove 2023 Legislative Agenda meeting at City Hall! It was great to connect with the community and I have already been working with the city to move these priorities forward here in Saint Paul!
This past week I introduced legislation to provide funding for a Highways for Habitats program—which would help the DNR and BWSR plant native grasses and cultivate habitats for native birds, bees, and other animals that can use the over 500,000 acres of roadside land in Minnesota for their homes. I have also introduced legislation to increase the percentage of lottery funds that go to protecting our environment, fish and game, parks, trails, and zoos. That bill will be heard in the Environment Committee next week.
Packinghouse Bill of Rights
Today, the House Labor and Industry Committee heard my bill to update the Packinghouse Worker’s Bill of Rights, an issue I have been working on since 2007! This new legislation has a simple goal: to provide information to workers about their rights, provide it in languages they use, and make sure there are consequences for employers that fail to provide workers with their rights. Similar measures were recommended by the Office of the Legislative Auditor, and I was proud to be joined by Bernie Hesse of UFCW 1189 who spoke in support of the bill.
Environment Committee Update
The House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, which I chair, has continued our work passing bills from last session and taking steps to protect our natural resources. This week we heard about the important work done by the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and a bill to protect our wild turtle population.
On Tuesday, the committee heard and approved my bill which would authorize funding of 85 projects across the state using about $80 million from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENTRF). The recommendations in this bill were approved by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). Unlike in past years, the commission reached a supermajority this year, and I was glad that the bill passed our committee unanimously! You can watch the video here.
Stay in Touch
Please continue to share your questions, ideas, and feedback throughout the legislative session. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-6828. You can contact my Legislative Assistant Sam O'Neill at 651-296-3305 or via email at Samuel.ONeill@house.mn.gov.