North Minneapolis is once again reeling from the impact of deadly gun violence in our community, with multiple shootings having occurred this week. It’s important that we acknowledge the lasting pain and trauma these events cause, especially when it seems like we hardly have time to process one before another takes place.
Look out for one another, care for your neighbors, and most importantly reject the notion that this is somehow just the norm for our community. Everyone deserves to feel safe in the place they call home, which is why I would like to highlight the urgency around the real change we can make to build safer neighborhoods.
This session, the House DFL is putting forward a $100 million Public Safety Plan, which includes $40 million in grants for violence prevention, specifically more funding for community nonprofits that attack the root of the problem and strive to prevent crime from happening in the first place. I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation.
Take the time to process this week, and then I hope you’ll join me in fighting for change.
Support for Local Businesses
Last session, we fought for funds to help neighborhoods like ours in the Twin Cities rebuild after the summer of 2020’s civil unrest and the ongoing economic impact from the pandemic. There’s still a lot of work to do in this area, but there are funds available. A second round of the Main Street Economic Revitalization Program recently launched. This $80 million economic redevelopment program will award grants to establish programs targeting specific main streets and commercial corridors that will fund economic development and redevelopment projects. A total of $41 million will be available in this second round of funding.
Proposals will be accepted from eligible partner organizations, which include foundations engaged in economic development; community development; financial institutions; and nonprofit organizations engaged in housing and commercial development. Requests for proposals (RFPs) are due by 4 p.m. February 28. You can find more information here.
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act
This week in the House Capital Investment Committee, I invited state agencies to provide an update on the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and its impact on Minnesota. In our recent tour of proposed capital investment projects, it became abundantly clear that there was an incredible need for investment in our state’s infrastructure, more than what Minnesota could address on its own.
Our committee visiting projects that could be covered by state or federal investment
As we learn more about this historic federal law, it’s clear that in tandem with the IIJA, now is the opportune time for the state to step up and truly make a transformative generational investment in our state. In addition to the required matches to access these federal funds, we can go even further to deliver for the communities and peoples too often ignored when it comes to state and federal resources.
The IIJA brings in an estimated $7.3 billion to Minnesota, with 84% of that requiring a state match. The majority of these estimated funds, $5.4 billion, are dedicated to the Department of Transportation, with $852 million going to the Met Council, $668 million to the Public Facilities Authority, $159 million for Commerce, $103 million to the DEED’s Office of Broadband Development, and $18 million to MNIT and Public Safety. You can find a breakdown of these funds here.
Bonus Pay for Frontline Workers
??The workers who kept our state running during the darkest hours of the pandemic deserve more than our thanks and adoration, they deserve to be paid! This week, the House DFL made progress on our efforts to deliver bonus checks for the frontline workers that never had a 'work from home' option, often at the expense of risking the well-being of themselves and their families.
Minnesota has come a long way since the start of this pandemic, and our recovering economy is thanks in large part to the healthcare workers, bus drivers, teachers, janitors, food service workers, and others that continue to keep Minnesota operational during uncertain times. We’re proposing a $1 billion investment to ensure these eligible workers get bonuses of up to $1,500, which they’ve certainly earned.
You can read more about this legislation here.
The Minnesota House will continue to conduct our work in remote and virtual operations for the time being, which unfortunately means we’re not yet to the point where you can visit with me in-person in the House offices. To stay up to date on the latest news and the livestreams of committee hearings and floor debates, you can visit the House Public Information website and read the nonpartisan Session Daily newsletter.
If you didn’t catch my previous update, I am asking our community to take a brief legislative survey to help guide our work in the Minnesota House this year. If you have a moment, I’d greatly appreciate it.
Please complete my 2022 Legislative Survey
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions, comments, or concerns you have about our work at the Minnesota House. You can reach me at 651-296-4262 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.