It was an honor to present Neree Jackson of Little Falls with a 2019 Unsung Hero Award at the Capitol recognizing her outstanding efforts to help children and families.
The award is from the Minnesota Communities Caring for Children – a longstanding, non-profit organization – and Neree is highly deserving of it. In her role as an adoption and permanency social worker with Todd County, Neree goes above and beyond to advocate for children and families.
But that’s just her day job.
Neree has fostered many children – and sometimes their parents – over the years. Now some of those children have had their own children and she has been there for them through their pregnancies, through the births and, when necessary, has fostered those new babies. Her vision for a fostering system to support whole-family fostering is groundbreaking and she deserves to know she’s appreciated and that how she’s modeled that herself is amazing. She’s a difference-maker.
I have been involved front and center on child care and foster care for numerous years in the House and it was a pleasure to attend the ceremony and present Neree with her award. The phrase “power lies with the people” applies quite well to this subject. So many of the issues we face in society or take on as legislators can be solved by people such as Neree stepping up and advocating for kids. A strong home with parents/parental figures investing themselves in our children makes an incredible difference. So, again, hats off to Neree, it is nice to see you receive this deserved recognition!
I also want to say “way to go” to the Brainerd/Little Falls girls hockey team for the thrilling state tournament ride. I hope you realize the positive impacts you’ve had on our communities and your achievements are reason to be proud.
At the Capitol, March 15 is the first deadline for bills to make preliminary committee process in the House. Last week I noted the governor put out his budget proposal and it includes a $3 billion tax increase over the next two years alone, and $4.7 billion in tax increases for 2022-23.
As part of the governor’s proposal, he is looking to increase the state’s gas tax by 20 cents per gallon. I mentioned in my last email that I was looking for feedback from District 9B residents on that proposal. So, let me know what you think. Do you want the gas tax to be raised by 20 cents per gallon?
There is a lot left to do this session, including putting together a budget that works for Minnesota with the recently reported decreased budget forecast. With all the other important things going on at the Capitol, I was surprised that last night, House Democrats passed a bill to void boat insurance policies and increase their cost going forward. We should spend our time focusing on putting together a common-sense, balanced budget instead of complicating boat insurance for Minnesotans.
I enjoyed meeting with FFA members from our area this week for FFA Day at the Capitol – below are some pictures from our meeting!
Until next time,