I hope you’ve had a good week! It’s been a busy one at the legislature; committee work is underway and with week 2 in the books, we’ve already advanced important legislation for Minnesotans. In Education Finance and Policy, we discussed the importance of nutrition in schools across the state and heard a bill to prevent meal shaming by ensuring a free meal for all students regardless of income. We also advanced legislation to require schools to provide menstrual products for students. I spoke with Minnesota Public Radio about our priorities for Minnesota students and you can read the story here.
In Education Finance, we continue to have overviews from the state agencies that work in the K-12 education arena. Overviews provide important information for legislators as we craft legislation.
On Monday, I started the morning meeting with Hennepin County Commissioners, along with other Hennepin County legislators to hear about the county’s legislative priorities. I finished the evening attending a St. Louis Park City Council work session to hear from city council members, the mayor, and city staff. As a state legislature, I appreciate the strong collaborative relationship that we have in our communities between our cities, county and state government.
Thank you to the Edina League of Women Voters for hosting a meet and greet Wednesday night for our Edina legislative delegation. It was well attended with very engaging conversations around affordable housing, funding for our senior caregivers, ranked choice voting, funding meals for our students, disability access, and much more.
This morning, I had a chance to speak at the Minneapolis Regional Chamber event focused in the west metro. Senator Ann Rest, Senator Zach Duckworth, Senator Eric Pratt, and I answered questions from our local business owners.
Here’s an update from the Capitol:
Federal Tax Conformity
As I mentioned last week, we were fast-tracking a tax conformity bill, which I’m pleased to share has already been signed into law. The Minnesota Legislature passed the federal tax conformity bill, HF 31, on Tuesday with broad bipartisan and unanimous votes. The measure will make several changes to bring Minnesota into conformity with federal tax law, resulting in over $100 million in tax cuts to a wide range of Minnesotans, while simplifying future tax filings. You can read more about the measure here.
The CROWN Act
Our second bill to pass off the House floor also attracted considerable support from both sides of the aisle, and it’s a bill we’ve passed twice before. The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair (CROWN) Act updates the definition of “race” in the Minnesota Human Rights Act to include “traits associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and hair styles such braids, locs, and twists.” This is one of many proposals we’re championing to build a more inclusive Minnesota.
Matching IIJA Funds for Minnesota’s Transportation Infrastructure
Although I am not serving on the House Transportation Committee this year, I’d like to share exciting news that the committee passed legislation to authorize the allocation of $315,500,000 from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The funds will be used to improve roads, bridges, transit, broadband internet access, water treatment facilities, and lead pipe replacement.
In November of 2021, President Joe Biden signed the IIJA into law, which will result in $4.8 billion over the next five years in federal funding for the purpose of upgrading Minnesota’s infrastructure. House DFLers have been working hard on this issue since last year, and I’m glad we’re finally moving forward on this federal/state match. The next stop is Ways and Means, which I serve on, before it goes to the full House Floor for a vote.
Save the Date- Community Conversations
It is very important to me to hear your thoughts, ideas and concerns. Your voices are important to have around the table and help me to represent our communities at the State Capitol. This year, I'm hosting four community conversation events for those in House District 46B. Due to library renovations at the St. Louis Park Library, all events this year will take place in Hopkins and Edina.
Full details for the events are as follows:
Hopkins Library Community Room (22 11th Ave. N, Hopkins)
Wed, Jan 25. 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Edina Library (5280 Grandview Square, Edina)
Stay in Touch
Please don’t hesitate to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-9889 with questions or to let me know how I can provide assistance. Email is the quickest way to get in touch. You can also contact my new legislative assistant, Shamat, at email@example.com or 651-296-7189 for scheduling a meeting.
Have a great weekend!