The mid-session legislative break begins this weekend, with legislators returning to the Capitol on Tuesday, April 23. Over the last few weeks, committees have finalized their budget bills, which will be considered on the House floor after the break. See below for some information on those budgets, but first some information on our next chance to connect in the district.
Chat with Dave – Saturday, April 20
Many thanks to everyone who joined Sen. Cohen, Rep. Her, and me for the annual Senate District 64 luncheon earlier this week. If you couldn’t make it (and even if you could), please consider joining us on Saturday, April 20, from 1:30pm to 3:00pm, for the next Chat with Dave, an informal conversation with neighbors about legislative issues. We’ll meet again in the Village View Room at Highland Park Community Center. You can RVSP on Facebook here or simply show up. Hope to see you there!
Budget Press Conference
On Monday, the House DFL leadership and I announced the components of our budget for taxes. Three-quarters of the revenue raised will be invested in E-12 education, with the remaining fourth going to higher education, and so we announced our budgets in these areas too. More details below. I participated in the press conference as chair of the Early Childhood committee.
Budget Details: Taxes
The tax bill would reduce taxes for many families, senior citizens, and small businesses, close corporate loopholes, and simplify the filing process for everyone. A fact sheet – including a breakdown of the numbers – is available here.
Budget Details: E-12 Education
I discussed the early childhood provisions of the E-12 budget bill in my most recent e-update. The rest of the bill is exciting as well. It increases funding for our schools by three percent in 2020 and two percent in 2021, helping them keep up with inflation. Increases less than inflation would lead teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, or pushing costs from the state onto local taxpayers. A fact sheet about the E-12 budget is available here.
Budget Details: Higher Education
The higher education budget would freeze tuition for all of Minnesota’s two and four year public colleges and universities and improve student support and public safety. I’m especially pleased about support for the Minnesota State Grant program, which helps students to attend the University of St. Thomas, Macalester College, and St. Kate’s in our neighborhood in addition to public institutions. Students who are currently in the state grant program would receive an additional $400 a year on average, and nearly 2,000 students would be eligible for the first time. A fact sheet with more information about the budget is available here.
Freedom to Drive
Hundreds of people came to the Capitol last Friday to support restoring freedom to drive for all Minnesotans. In 2003, proof of legal immigration status became a requirement for obtaining a drivers’ license in Minnesota. This law makes it difficult for tens of thousands of Minnesotans to live, work, and take care of their families. I was proud to vote for legislation that would ensure everyone has access to a driver’s license (HF 1500). This would make our roads safer and extend the dignity and respect that our immigrant communities deserve. The House approved the bill, and I hope that it will be heard in the Senate.
Prenatal to Three Policy Forum - Monday, April 29
Note that the next Prenatal to Three Policy Forum is coming up at the University of St. Thomas on the morning of Monday, April 29. Anyone interested in early childhood policy is encouraged to attend. Details at www.p3minnesota.org.
Please continue to keep in touch. Thank you for the honor of serving our community.
State Representative, District 64B
439 State Office Building
Subscribe to my email updates: www.house.leg.state.mn.us/64b
Follow my office on Facebook: www.facebook.com/repdavepinto/