Greetings from your new state representative! The legislative pace is beginning to quicken, as committees start to hear more bills, and legislation reaches the House floor. This seemed like a good time for my first e-update - including information on my committee assignments. Governor Dayton’s budget proposal, the recently-unveiled Working Parents Act, and more.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt has appointed me to three committees: Civil Law & Data Practices, Property Tax& Local Government Finance Division, and Rules & Legislative Administration. We’ve had some interesting policy discussions so far (see Star Tribune coverage here), with much more to come.
Governor Dayton’s Two Year Budget: Looking Forward for MN Children and Families
The Governor's two-year budget proposal was released several weeks ago. I've long believed that a public investment in children yields the biggest return. I'm pleased that the Governor's proposal reflects this view, with over half of the anticipated $1 billion budget surplus dedicated to early learning, support for child care, K-12, and other investments in children and families. For a quick summary of the Governor’s proposal, click here, and for more in-depth information on particular areas, click here and here.
The Governor has also released his plan for a 10-year investment of $6 billion into road, bridge, and transit maintenance and improvements. If you want to dig deeper into those numbers, you can click the link here. I will continue to update you as the House majority prepares a significantly smaller package after the February forecast (Friday).
Working Parents Act
This week, my DFL colleagues and I unveiled the Working Parents Act, a legislative package aimed at providing greater opportunity and economic security to millions of Minnesotans and greater prosperity for all of us. It includes five individual proposals: Earned Sick and Safe Time, Paid Family Leave, Wage Theft Prevention, Fair and Predictable Scheduling, and Tip Fairness for Servers. Click the link above to learn more. I’m hopeful that we can make progress on these issues this year!
The former Ford Motor site in our district is one of the biggest redevelopment opportunities in the country. I've been deeply involved in discussions with residents, the City of St. Paul, and other agencies as plans for the site move forward. To learn more and join discussions, check out the City's Ford Site page. And note that one of a series of public meetings on the site will be held TONIGHT (Thursday) - click the city's link to learn more.
In the meantime, I've authored a bill (HF 609) to provide flexibility to the City in the possible use of tax increment financing (TIF) for the project. The bill is likely to receive a hearing in the Property Taxes & Local Government Finance Committee - on which I serve - in the next couple of weeks. To follow the progress of this bill, click here.
Hearing from Constituents
I've been delighted to meet with constituents on many topics, including students from St. Kate's on homelessness and an enthusiastic group in support of the arts (see photos below). And I've heard from folks on issues through emails, letters, and calls, as well. Don't hesitate to contact my office - info below - to share your thoughts on any issue or to set up a meeting.
You can learn more about how your new state representative is doing by checking out some recent profiles in MinnPost and TPT's Almanac. The Almanac segment begins at minute mark 34:27.
Thanks so much for the honor of serving our community,
State Representative, District 64B
321 State Office Building