Minnesota proved this week that one of the nation's only divided governments can find compromise to move our communities forward. There will always be hard choices and we won't get everything we've fought for in working with the Republican-led Senate, but there's a lot to be proud of.
The legislature has officially adjourned, but we still have work to do to make sure we carefully consider, debate, and pass a state budget that will benefit all Minnesotans. I will notify you when a special session is announced. In the meantime, you can follow along with the public committee meetings online here.
Here's an overview of the budget that the House, Senate, and Governor agreed on, while details are still getting ironed out:
- We increased investments in each student's education by 2 percent each year over the next two years - that's four times the amount the Republican Senate proposed. This will help make sure all students and teachers across the state receive the support they need.
- We successfully worked to prevent cuts to health care, securing health care access for 1.2 million Minnesotans who are priced out of the individual market.
- We approved a .25% tax cut for the middle class, which is progress toward securing a more fair tax system.
Addressing Minnesota's opioid epidemic
The DFL-led House and the Republican-led Senate arrived at a bipartisan agreement to address Minnesota’s opioid crisis. Under the bill, opioid companies who've profited from the epidemic will provide funding for new and proven strategies to address opioid use disorders, while delivering funding to counties for the significant public safety resources they will need. For too long, families and communities have been waiting for the Legislature to take action. This compromise puts us on the path to prevent more heartbreaking tragedies by holding Big Pharma accountable.
This week, we sent a higher education budget to the Governor that eases the financial burden on working families and students. It improves student health, safety, and mental health support, and provides for hunger-free campuses. There are currently 775,000 Minnesotans with student debt totaling $27.1 billion – Minnesotans from all backgrounds deserve a fair shot at earning a quality education and a shot at success and that shouldn’t be limited to those at the very top. We have work left to do to freeze tuition and make sure no Minnesotans are left out of the higher education system, but this is a good start.
Preventing Elder Abuse
New protections for seniors and vulnerable adults earned final approval from the House and Senate Sunday night. A 2017 Star Tribune multi-part story on rampant assault, abuse, neglect and other crimes in Minnesota’s senior care facilities brought attention to the issue. The bill we passed will create requirements for assisted living facilities to protect older and vulnerable adults to ensure they receive the care they need in a dignified, safe living environment.
We will continue to iron out the details of the budget until the Governor calls us back for a special session to debate and pass our finalized budget agreement. As you have questions and thoughts on our final state budget, please don't hesitate to reach out!
I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
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