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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL)

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Legislative Update- February 8, 2024

Thursday, February 8, 2024
Rep. Pinto

Dear Neighbors,

The legislative session starts on Monday! Below is a session preview regarding the fiscal picture for the state budget, as well as several issues that I’ll be working on.

In the meantime, a reminder to consider joining me this Saturday for the first “Chat with Dave” of 2024. We’ll meet from 1:00pm to 2:00pm at Highland Park Library for an informal conversation with constituents.

Chat with Dave


Session Preview: Fiscal Picture

As I shared last June, last year’s legislative session was one of the most productive in state history, with transformational investments and policy changes that will help everyone in Minnesota to thrive. This year’s session will build on that work, in some particular ways.

As in all odd-numbered years, the 2023 session set a two-year budget for the state; we are in the middle of that budget now. Even-numbered years, like 2024, involve adjustments to that budget based on emerging needs, as well as unexpected changes in spending and revenues.

In December, the state received news that state revenues will likely significantly exceed spending this year, resulting in a large budget surplus. At the same time, a significant “structural imbalance” – with spending exceeding revenues – is expected in future years. This forecast will be revised in February. In the meantime, we’ll need to continue to carefully keep the long-term consequences in mind as we consider budget changes this session.


Legislative Task Force on Child Protection – Tomorrow

Every child in our state deserves to be safe and thriving. I serve as the co-chair of a legislative task force that reviews issues relating to child protection. The next task force meeting is tomorrow (Friday), February 9 from 9:00am to noon, at the Minnesota Senate Office Building. You can also watch online here. We’ll review a series of proposals that are likely to be introduced this session. As background on the task force, here is news coverage of our meeting in December.


Gun Violence Prevention & White House Visit

I’m thrilled that after years of work by so many of us, criminal background check and extreme risk protection orders are finally law in Minnesota. But with guns remaining a leading cause of death for children in the U.S. – a rate far exceeding that of any country we would want to compare ourselves to – there is much more that we need to do. I will be introducing several gun-related bills this coming session and will be helping to pass several more. In the meantime, several colleagues and I received big inspiration in December, when we traveled to the White House for a legislative convening on gun violence prevention. Legislators from across the country joined Vice-President Kamala Harris to share ideas and establish partnerships. This is an epidemic that no one state can stop on its own.


White House Agenda on Gun Violence Prevention


Local Infrastructure Projects

A major component of the 2024 session will be investments in infrastructure, often through state borrowing (“bonding”). I’ve authored several capital investment projects relevant to our area. One is the creation of a Mississippi River learning center and national park headquarters at Watergate Marina in Crosby Farm Park. This would be an opportunity for recreation, education, and environmental stewardship, allowing all of us direct access to the river and strengthening our connection with this incredible resource.

A second project that I’ve authored is the Riverview Corridor transitway, which would run along West Seventh; increased transit opportunities are critical for our region. Finally, I’ve authored a proposal for an Ethiopian Community Center. We have many Ethiopian-Americans in our area; as has been true for so many others – including my own Italian and Eastern European ancestors – it’s vital that this community have a place to gather, celebrate weddings and graduations, mourn losses, and be together.


Electric Vehicle Rebate

The Electric Vehicle Rebate Program started yesterday! Part of our historic work in 2023 to fight climate change, this program allows residents to receive a rebate of up to $2,500 for the purchase of a new electric vehicle, plug-in, or hybrid purchased or leased on or after May 25, 2023. The rebate is $600 for the purchase of a used vehicle. More info at #EverybodyIn





St. Paul’s Approach to Homelessness

The committee that I chair oversees state policy and funding relating to homelessness. In connection with that, I’ve been really proud of our city’s response to this issue. St. Paul’s Homeless Assistance Response Team (HART) was created just over two years ago to address an unprecedented rise in homeless encampments amid a regional crisis in affordable housing. Since then, it has worked with compassion, respect, and skill to help people achieve housing. HART sends weekly updates on its work, which I sometimes post online. 


Public Input Sought on the Capitol Mall

The Capitol Mall - the area around our beautiful State Capitol - is undergoing significant changes, and planners and designers are looking for input from Minnesotans on how to make it a welcoming place for all. #EverybodyIn. Learn more, and complete a survey, by Thurs, Feb 15:

Capitol Mall Framework



Keep in Touch

As in 2023, this coming session is likely to move quickly; I may find it tough to send out these updates. You can follow my work at the links below (please encourage others to subscribe and follow as well!). You can also contact me at or at (651) 296-4199 (though email is preferred). Whatever way, please keep in touch. And thank you for the honor of serving our community.

Dave Pinto State Representative
District 64B, 503 State Office Building

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