Greetings from the Capitol! The pace continues to move quickly in St. Paul, as we work toward building a stronger and more equitable Minnesota for all.
A big thank you to everyone who joined me for our first community conversation at the Hopkins Public Library. We talked about feeding our students breakfast and lunch as well as funding our public schools, the budget surplus, elections access, social security tax, and much more.
I hope you’ll be able to join me and our neighbors tomorrow, January 28 from 2:30-4:00 p.m. at the Edina Library (5280 Grandview Square, Edina, MN) for our next community conversation.
This week, I had a great visit with the Edina Legislative Action Committee, talking about their school priorities. It has been exciting to get to know more about the work Edina is doing to meet their student’s needs.
It was great to also have the chance to connect with Edina High School students that are a part of Rep. Heather Edelson’s intern for a day program. They came to the House Education Finance Committee to watch the bill to fund our school’s breakfast and lunches as well as the menstrual equity bill.
On Wednesday, I also had an opportunity to meet with a constituent and other folks up at the Capitol for Credit Union Day on the hill. Credit unions do incredible work in all of our communities. My family is a proud member of the West Metro Credit Union that is located in Hopkins and Edina.
Friday, I had the chance to tour the Metro Deaf School in St. Paul. It is an excellent charter school for our E-12 learners who are hearing impaired. I visited along with Representative Ruth Richardson and Representative Leigh Finke.
In our Education Finance Committee this week, we passed bills to feed all K-12 students breakfast and lunch, and to have menstrual products accessible in all schools across the state. Both address some of the basic needs that create barriers to our students ability to learn, grow, and thrive in and out of the classroom.
We also discussed the Walz-Flanagan Administration's education portion of their budget proposal. I'm grateful for their vision for our schools and the historic investment they're proposing to meet kids where they are at.
In Ways and Means, we passed a variety of legislation to the Floor, including “driver’s licenses for all." This bill, HF 4, would allow all Minnesotans, regardless of immigration status, to earn driver’s licenses.
In Taxes, we focused on ways we could put money back in Minnesotans' pockets. The bills we heard included the Great Start Child Tax Credit, expanding the student loan tax credit, and making permanent a tax exemption for student loan forgiveness.
The last eight years globally have been the hottest on record, and Minnesota is among the top states currently seeing rapid changes to our climate. Scientists know that climate change driven by fossil fuels is impacting our environment, infrastructure, and our health. Minnesota has long been a leader in clean energy, but partisan gridlock in recent years has hindered attempts to combat climate change.
Thursday, the 100% by 2040 bill, a landmark piece of legislation that will help our state address climate change head-on and prepare for a carbon-free future, was heard on the House Floor.
This legislation would require that the state’s utilities use entirely carbon-free sources for electricity production by 2040. This would put us on track with over 20 other states that have also adopted similar goals. I voted in favor of this bill in hopes of leaving a better planet to my children, grandchildren, and the next generation. This bill received support from our energy producers and labor force that work in the industry.
We also passed legislation that requires inflation to be factored in to state budget economic forecasts that we receive twice a year from the Minnesota Management and Budget Agency.
Walz-Flanagan Administration’s Budget Proposal
Governor Walz has been rolling out his budget proposal over the past two weeks. With a $17 billion surplus, his proposal includes a variety of cuts and investments to lower costs and address critical deficiencies Minnesotans are facing. You can read more details of the proposal here.
We’re working hard in the House and Senate to build our own two-year budget blueprint. The Administration’s proposal is a good starting point for us to work from as we fine tune the components of our shared goals to help Minnesotans afford their lives.
Name a Snow Plow-Voting is Open!
Voting is now open to name a Minnesota Department of Transportation snow plow! After more than 10,000 name ideas were submitted, MnDOT has narrowed the list down to 60 finalists—and now it’s time to pick up to 8 favorites! Cast your vote here.
Keep in Touch
Please continue to reach out anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org with input, questions, or to let me know how I can be of assistance. Email is the quickest way to get in touch. You can also contact my legislative assistant, Shamat, at email@example.com I you would like to schedule a meeting.
Thank you for the honor of representing our Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Edina neighbors at the State Capitol.