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

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Legislative Update: Minnesota House Begins to Pass Policy Bills

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

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The Minnesota House has begun passing major issue policy bill packages, building on the work of our historically productive 2023 session.

On Monday, we passed the Elections Policy Bill, which focuses on improved voter access and election transparency. It targets policy areas where the state can improve voter turnout and ensure that if voting is restricted, voters have a means of redress. We also passed the Public Safety Policy Bill. The bill continues House Democrats’ comprehensive approach to public safety and crime prevention with support for victims, criminal justice reform, policy modernization, and more.

Veterans Policy Bills Pass

Last week the House passed two policy bills supporting our Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs, which passed with unanimous support. The Military Affairs bill includes referral bonuses for the National Guard, adjustments to help the National Guard investigate and prosecute crime, and language to broaden the definition of trespassing on National Guard facilities.

The Veterans Affairs Policy bill aligns state law with a federal law-making veterans ineligible for benefits if they are convicted of fraud, treason, or subversive activities. It would also eliminate language mandating veterans’ homes administrators report directly to the commissioner of Veterans Affairs, and it establishes an additional state veteran cemetery in northwestern Minnesota.

These veterans’ bills build on last year's success when lawmakers expanded eligibility for the bonuses to veterans, removed the state burial fee at state-operated veterans cemeteries for spouses and qualifying family members, and made investments to reach “functional zero” for veterans’ homelessness.

Additional Policy Bills Pass the MN House

Last week, we passed a higher education policy bill that includes the clean energy sector in our Workforce Development Scholarship Program and expands support in higher education for students who have a disability. We also passed an early education policy bill focused on strengthening our pre-kindergarten and school readiness programs. Additionally, we passed a transportation policy package that improves road safety, adopts safer speed limit recommendations, shortens Driver Vehicle Services wait times, and includes child passenger safety and consumer protections.

Child Tax Credit

If you have not yet filed your taxes, make sure to check if you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit. This credit is among other measures passed in the 2023 legislative session to benefit families, seniors, and working-class Minnesotans.


Veterans Day at the Capitol – April 17

One final reminder about the Veterans Day at the Capitol event scheduled for next Wednesday, April 17. Veterans and supporters are invited to meet with legislators about your priorities, and to participate in the Capitol Rotunda rally. I hope to see you at the Capitol next Wednesday.


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


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