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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jerry Newton (DFL)

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Legislative Update: The Impact of Universal School Meals

Wednesday, April 3, 2024
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I hope you had a nice Easter break and enjoyed time with family and friends. Despite our up and down weather, the temperatures are warming the next few days!

State of the State

Last week, Governor Walz delivered his annual State of the State address at the Owatonna High School. The governor’s address celebrated our work to make Minnesota the best place in the country for families. Through our investments in expanding access to pre-k and affordable childcare, we are seeing results across the state. Families are also benefiting through our investments in better roads and bridges, housing, clean water, and safer streets.

Although we have made incredible progress, we have more work to do to build a state where everyone can succeed and thrive, no matter where they live.

The Impact of Universal School Meals

Our state’s public education system provides teaching, books, and transportation for all kids. In addition to these important obligations, we know learning isn’t possible when a child is hungry. Last year, we approved meals at school for all kids, and this change has already led to healthier school meals, as discussed in this MPR News piece. And there’s new evidence the meals will also reduce child obesity, improving lifelong health. Healthier, better educated young people will benefit everyone for years to come.

Veterans Day at the Capitol – April 17

Veterans and supporters are invited to participate in the annual day at the Capitol two weeks from today, on Wednesday, April 17. Advocate for veterans’ issues, meet with legislators and attend the State Capitol rotunda rally. I hope to see you at the Capitol on April 17!


And a reminder if you, or another veteran is struggling with mental health issues, the Veterans Crisis Line can help in times of need. Veterans can use this option by dialing 988 and pressing 1 to contact the Veterans Crisis Line. Veterans may still reach the Veterans Crisis Line with the previous phone number—1-800-273-8255 and Press 1—by text (838255), and through chat at


Weighing In on The Capitol Mall Redesign

The Capitol Mall is a beautiful amenity for all Minnesotans to enjoy. The Capitol Area Architectural and Planning Board is offering Minnesotans a chance to weigh in on the future of the mall’s design. You can click here to view the preliminary Capitol Mall Design Framework and Phase 1 recommendation. Take the survey here. The timeline to take the survey has been extended to April 15.

Stay Connected with the Legislature

It is easy to stay in touch with State Capitol activities. The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.  

Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can find my information on my House website. Also, make sure to ‘like’ my Facebook page.

It is an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.


Jerry Newton

State Representative


Representative Jerry Newton

367 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

Phone: 651-296-1729
Email: (replies to this newsletter are not monitored)
Legislative Assistant: Robin Schmidt, 651-296-8197