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

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Legislative Update- May 3, 2024

Friday, May 3, 2024

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Rep. Pinto

Dear Neighbors,

There are now just over two weeks before the latest date that the Legislature can adjourn for the year, on May 20. As you can imagine, the schedule is getting intense. I’m sending this from the House floor during another late-night floor debate on a series of supplemental budget and policy bills. Details on a few of these bills are below. But first, an opportunity to provide input on improved transit and redevelopment along West Seventh in our neighborhood.


Open House on Riverview Corridor - May 14

The Green Line connects downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. The Blue Line connects downtown Minneapolis and the airport. But the third leg of this triangle – the "Riverview Corridor," which runs right through our district – lacks strong public transit. Meanwhile, West Seventh is dangerous for pedestrians and needs to be rebuilt soon. On May 14, Ramsey County is hosting an open house to discuss some of the options for transit in the corridor, including modern streetcar and BRT. Stop by anytime between 5:00pm and 7:00pm at Palace Rec Center, 781 Palace Ave. More info here.


More Budget and Policy Bills Move Through the House

As we are in the middle of the state’s two-year budget cycle, a significant part of the work of this year’s session is the adoption of a supplemental budget. Here is information on just a few of the supplemental bills which passed the House this week:

  • The Children and Families bill – which came out of the committee that I chair – advances needed reforms to our child protection system and addresses recent increases in hunger and homelessness, among other things.  A summary of the bill is here, and here is a link to my final remarks on the bill.
  • The K-12 Education bill boosts resources for the READ Act to improve literacy, moves forward solutions for student wellbeing, and enhances support for teachers and student teachers. 
  • The Environment and Natural Resources bill contains new investments in tree planting, improving air quality, holding repeat polluters accountable, and tackling solid waste and recycling. 
  • The Transportation, Labor, and Housing bill invests in railroad safety and public transit, enhances worker rights and safety, improves housing stability for renters and seniors, and funds homelessness prevention.
  • The Tax bill builds off of the historic package of tax cuts that Democrats delivered last year, by expanding our nation-leading Child Tax Credit to 18-year olds and piloting a program that spreads out payments over the course of a year, making it work better for families. The bill also implements a direct online filing system for Minnesota tax returns, so that future tax filing seasons will be simple, easy, and free.
  • The Pensions and Retirement bill – which passed with unanimous support – prioritizes educators’ retirement security, improves our pension systems’ health, and strengthens the benefits retirees can expect.


Next Steps for Gun Safety 

Last year, the Legislature passed two significant gun-violence laws, the first in decades: my bill to require criminal background checks, and establishment of extreme risk protection orders. This week, the House passed three more bills to continue action for gun safety. The first would require the reporting of lost of stolen firearms, to help prevent gun trafficking. The second would require safe storage – consistent with that suggested in firearm-safety training – an important step to prevent access by children and others who should not have access. The third – inspired by the recent tragic killing of Burnsville first responders – would strengthen laws against straw purchasing and ban binary triggers, which greatly increase the rate of fire.

At the start of the week, I joined the authors of these bills at a press conference; you can see a video clip here.

Press conference regarding gun safety


A Local Option for Ranked Choice Voting

I’ve long supported ranked-choice voting, the method that we use for city elections in St. Paul. In my view, it better reflects voter preferences, which should of course be our goal in a democracy. A bill (HF 3276) to give other communities the option to choose this method of voting too is moving through the House, including a hearing in the Ways & Means Committee, on which I serve. Here is a photo with folks rallying in support.

Ranked Choice Voting


Minnesota Leading on Climate

As a founding member of the House Climate Action Caucus, I was thrilled by the historic climate-related legislation that passed last session, including the law that has put us on a path to generate 100% of our energy from clean sources. Minnesota has produced more than half of our energy from carbon-free sources for four straight years, with a 10% annual drop in greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. Now there’s more proof that we’re outpacing the country in climate action – a report released by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy. There’s a nice MPR story available here.

2024 MN Energy Factsheet


Protecting Minnesota’s Natural Places: Proposals Wanted

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment protects our state's natural and cultural resources through a dedicated sales tax. The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council – which oversees the portion of the funds to protect wetlands, prairies, forests, and other habitat – has released its FY25 call for funding requests. An estimated $150 million is available for local units of government, Tribal entities, non-profit organizations, watershed districts, and more. Deadline is May 26. Learn more at

clean water amendment


Interns from St. Thomas and St. Kate's

Every legislative session, my office hosts several college interns (and sometimes even a graduate student or two). This year, we've been delighted to work with Victoire Mwakana, a second-year at the University of St. Thomas, and Lillian Jones, a first-year at St. Catherine University. Victoire is majoring in political science, with a minor in criminal justice, and Lillian is majoring in economics, political science, and public policy, and a minor in nonprofit strategies and operations. (Such impressive students!) They've been learning a great deal about the legislative process and helping to serve you. Please say hello if you happen to see them at the Capitol in these final weeks of session.

REp. Pinto and interns

Please continue to be in touch in these busy final days of the session. And thank you for the honor of serving our community at the Capitol.


Dave Pinto
State Representative, District 64B  
503 State Office Building
(651) 296-4199 

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