Dear Friends and Neighbors,
I hope you’re having a good week and have an enjoyable weekend ahead of you. As another week comes to a close at the Capitol, here’s a quick update including information on a handful of education bills I am working on this year.
I’m working on a number of bills this session to better support our students, help ensure every student has access to a great education and opportunities to succeed, and make sure our kids are safe at school. Below is each of these bills with a brief description:
HF881: Requires school districts to develop teacher mentoring programs in order to best prepare educators new to the classroom.
HF732: Nearly doubles the annual funding for school-linked mental health grants. Untreated mental health issues can be a major obstacle to learning and educational success and providing students with services and treatment can make a big difference in this area.
HF713: Creates a special education working group to review special education implementation and costs in order to provide the legislature with recommendations on how to best address rising costs in special education.
HF602: Requires students to earn credit in government and citizenship in order to graduate. I believe too many students are graduating without a fundamental understanding of how our government works, and this bill can help fix that and create more informed and civically engaged citizens.
HF579: Provides additional funding and resources to improve school safety for students and staff in Minnesota’s schools. Expands the use of long-term facilities maintenance revenue for facility security upgrades, supports suicide prevention training for teachers, and increases and equalizes funding for Safe Schools Revenue.
HF16: Increases and expands funding for Small Schools Revenue to help ensure small schools in rural Minnesota receive equitable education funding.
I am also in the process of drafting legislation to expand the grants that were created through the Youth Skills Training legislation I co-authored and advocated for in 2017. These grants are designed to develop and implement paid-learning opportunities in high-demand fields for high school and college students through partnerships between schools and private industry. Likewise, I’m working on legislation concerning dyslexia screening for students and to provide training to help educators best understand the challenges of this condition.
Wabasha Grumpy Old Men Festival
Wabasha’s 26th annual Grumpy Old Men Festival will take place next weekend on Friday, February 22 and Saturday, February 23. The event will feature an ice fishing contest, a plunge in the Mississippi River, bingo, live music, and more! This is always a fun gathering of our community and I encourage you to take part in it if you’re looking for something to do next weekend. Complete information and a schedule of the festival’s events can be found at the following link: https://www.wabashamn.org/grumpyoldmenfest/.
This week I had the opportunity to sit down with Goodhue County Commissioner and Veterans Services Officer Robby Robinson. We had a good discussion on topics such as Goodhue County’s legislative priorities and ways the state can better support veteran’s services in our region.
A class of 6th graders from Twin Bluff Middle School in Red Wing took a field trip to the Capitol this week. It was fun to meet with them and see their energy and excitement!
Staying in Touch
With the legislative session well underway, if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also, please let me know if I can be of assistance to you or your family in navigating a state agency. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-8635.
Have a great weekend,