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

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Legislative Update: Veterans Finance Bill Advances

Thursday, April 25, 2024

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The May 20 legislative session adjournment date is approaching, and we are spending many hours debating bills on the House floor. Late last week, the Minnesota House approved additional legislation:

In 2023, DFLers passed legislation allowing adult-use cannabis use, decriminalization, and possession and growing cannabis plants for personal, recreational use. However, buying cannabis legally at a licensed retail business in the state is not set to begin until early next year. The Cannabis Policy bill we passed last week is meant to expedite setting up a good, legitimate marketplace for cannabis to displace the current illicit marketplace. You can read more about what the bill contains here. You can watch discussion of the bill here.

We also passed a strong Tenants’ Rights Policy Bill, which includes provisions to safeguard tenants’ right to organize, protect tenant survivors of domestic violence, clarify tenant’s rights to emergency services, and prohibit rental discrimination based on public assistance. You can read more bill details here. Watch the debate here.

Veterans Finance Bill Advances

Yesterday, the Veterans and Military Affairs Budget Bill was heard in the Ways & Means Committee. With unanimous committee support, the legislation will now be included in the State Government bill for a vote of the full House. You can watch the presentation here.

Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council

On April 1, 2024, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council released its FY25 Call for Funding Requests. An estimated $150+ million will be available for habitat work. Eligibility for these grants includes local units of government, Tribal entities, Park & Rec departments, non-profit organizations, SWCDs, watershed districts, and others. Funding is dedicated for projects to protect, restore, and enhance habitat for fish, game, and wildlife. Learn more and apply here.

Free Park Day

Saturday, April 27 is the next free entrance day to all Minnesota parks. Minnesota state parks are open year-round, and there's a state park within 30 miles of most Minnesotans. Whether you stay for the whole weekend or just spend a few hours outside, this is a great opportunity to explore someplace new and make lifetime memories. So be sure to get out and visit one or some of our wonderful parks!


DEA Prescription Take Back Day

A reminder about the annual Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Take Back Day, this Saturday, April 27. Clean out your medicine cabinets and turn in unwanted prescriptions. To find out more information and a location near you, click here.

National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW)

National Infant Immunization Week highlights the importance of protecting infants from serious diseases by keeping them up to date with their well-child visits and recommended immunizations. Vaccines help reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Without that protection, children are more likely to get measles, RSV,?whooping cough and other diseases prevented by vaccines. You can learn more from the Minnesota Department of Health.  


Vacancies in State Boards, Councils, and Committees

Another reminder that the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has released notice of vacancies for various state boards, councils and committees that are accepting applications. Minnesotans are encouraged to apply and serve in these important positions. The full list of 921 vacancies / 602 positions can be found on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website Open Positions.

Veterans Crisis Line

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


Happy Passover to all who celebrate!



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