I hope that your summer is going well. I had promised to provide a little more detail on what passed during the legislative session. Below is information to start on a few budget areas, with others to come. The upcoming town hall (see below) will be a great chance to learn more as well. Of course, if you have specific questions about what passed and what didn't, please reach out.
August 8 - Town Hall
A week from this coming Tuesday, please join Rep. Kaohly Her, Sen. Erin Murphy, and me for a town hall to discuss the legislative session. (Apologies that the date is a change from a tentative one that I had shared earlier.) We'll be at Gloria Dei, 700 Snelling Ave. S. (right on the A Line) from 7:00pm to 8:30pm. Hope to see you then.
August 1 - National Night Out
But first: This coming Tuesday night is the 39th Annual National Night Out! The City's National Night Out webpage links to a list of events; check it out and consider joining in.
I will be out and about at NNO events throughout the neighborhood. If your block will be hosting a party and you'd like me to stop by, please reply to this message with the info about where and when, and I'll do my best to stop by.
Spotlight: Public Safety Budget
August 1 is important for another reason as well: It's when many new state laws take effect, including my bill for criminal background checks on gun sales! This was a needed change that was a long time in coming. And it's only one of the highlights of this year's public safety budget, which takes a holistic approach to breaking cycles of crime and violence. Here are some of the other highlights:
Increased funding for law enforcement, plus new tools to combat fentanyl dealing, organized retail theft, crimes motivated by bias, and more.
Support for victims and survivors, through advocacy and housing supports, domestic violence protections, and state-paid sexual assault exams.
Juvenile justice reform, with funding for juvenile treatment homes, an Office of Restorative Practices, and youth intervention grants.
Community violence prevention grants to address root causes.
An emphasis on rehabilitation, with treatment, education, and employment skills for people convicted of crimes, to reduce recidivism and help get them back on track.
Spotlight: Tax Budget
I was honored to serve on the Tax Committee for the first time this year. The tax budget which we passed provides the largest tax cut in state history. Most exciting, it establishes a nation-leading Child Tax Credit, of up to $1,750 per child, which is expected to cut child poverty by 33%. It supports local governments - helping to avoid property-tax increases - with $80 million each year for local government aid and county program aid, plus $300 million local public safety aid. It also provides significant property-tax relief for homeowners and renters in the form of a Renter’s Property Tax Refund and Homestead Credit Refund. And it fully exempts state taxes on social security for more than three-quarters of seniors, as well as providing direct payments to low- and middle-income Minnesotans through a one-time refundable tax credit.
Spotlight: Youth Homelessness Funding
The House committee that I chair, Children & Families Finance & Policy, has jurisdiction over a variety of issues within human services and education. I'll provide more information about our budget in a future e-update. In the meantime, a recent article in the Star Tribune is a good chance to highlight one part of our committee's work: addressing youth homelessness. This session, we advanced transformational increases in funding in this area. As the former director of training and protocol development for Safe Harbor (Minnesota's system to combat youth sex trafficking and exploitation), I know how dangerous youth homelessness can be - and what a difference these investments will make.
White House Visit
Several Minnesota colleagues and I recently joined more than 90 legislators from 41 states in a convening at the White House about child care and early learning. It was a thrill to have our state's progress this session lifted up as a national model - even as we know that there is much more to do to get all of our children off to the #GreatStartMN that they deserve. You can read more on the visit here.
The state Department of Commerce recently shared helpful information about filing insurance claims following damage from storms, flooding, etc. They've put together a handy website - https://mn.gov/commerce/insurance/home/dic/ - plus the following suggestion:
Contact your insurance company immediately.
Wait for the company’s adjuster before you or anyone starts working to remove or repair or replace property.
Inventory your damage.
Take notes of who you talk with and what they say from your insurance company, adjusters or repair services. Note dates, names and contact information.
Watch out for scams or high-pressure sales tactics by people you don’t know going door-to-door or making calls in areas hit by storms.
Thank you for the honor of serving our community,
State Representative, District 64B 503 State Office Building (651) 296-4199