Happy summer! I hope that yours is off to a great start.
I’ve taken the last few weeks to take a breath after a very intense, but also historically productive, 2023 legislative session.
It’s nearly impossible to capture the full scope of the session. Put simply: whatever the budget area – education, environment, transportation, housing, health, public safety – the incoming state budget makes transformational investments that will help everyone in Minnesota thrive. The accompanying policies that passed will make our state safer, more inclusive, and more just. #EverybodyIn. The impact of both the budget and the policies will be felt for generations.
Shortly after the session ended, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic released an op-ed discussing the work and impact of the session. If you missed it at the time, I’d encourage you to read it now.
In future e-updates, I will provide a little more detail on the new two-year budget, especially. For now, I’m providing some higher-level thoughts. In the meantime, if you have specific questions about what passed and what didn’t, please don’t hesitate to send them via email at email@example.com.
Save the Date: Town Hall – July 18
Note that there will be another good chance to learn more about the session at an upcoming Senate District 64 town hall, Rep. Kaohly Her and Sen. Erin Murphy. Please save the evening of July 18 for this, with more details to follow.
Context for the Session
It’s important to note that the seeds that bloomed this session were planted in past years. So many of the proposals that have now become law had been introduced,reviewed, and refined in session after session. So often, the only reason that they had not become law previously was gridlock.
To choose just one example that is especially important to me: Criminal background checks on gun sales and red-flag laws have both had widespread public support for decades. My predecessors, former Reps. Howard Orenstein and Michael Paymar, along with Sen. Dick Cohen, had pushed for versions of these proposals for years. I first introduced both of them in 2017, and they have repeatedly received committee hearings. But Republican majorities just as repeatedly blocked them. Nevertheless, those impacted by gun violence did not give up but continued to organize and to push. And those efforts paid off: With DFL legislative majorities and a supportive governor, both of these proposals will finally become law on August 1! (I’m still amazed to share that news.)
It’s the same story with so many other proposals that are now law – as can be seen in these posters of the House DFL’s first 30 bills. Despite years of thoughtful policymaking, so many of these had repeatedly hit brick walls. This session, they finally broke through, for the betterment of Minnesotans.
Keep in Touch
Again, I expect to provide more information about the session in a future updates, but please don’t hesitate to reach out in the meantime with questions, at the contact info below.
Thank you – this session, especially – for the honor of serving our community – this session.
Dave Pinto State Representative, District 64B (651) 296-4199