The 2022 legislative session adjourned on Monday, the constitutional deadline, and while there were some notable bipartisan accomplishments this year, much of the focus now is on what was left unfinished.
Despite reaching a bipartisan agreement for the framework of a supplemental budget, bills that would have utilized our historic budget surplus to invest in Minnesotans weren’t able to come together in the final hours of negotiations last weekend. Several of these proposals are very close to reaching a compromise, and while others were farther apart, I believe a brief special session could push these over the finish line - we just need Senate Republicans to join us at the table to get the work done.
We can’t afford to stop our work when so many in our community and across the state need assistance as rising costs and the struggles of the last few years still continue to impact lives. We need to invest in education, health care, public safety, infrastructure, and the areas within those and other legislative priorities that would see BIPOC Minnesotans thrive in a recovering economy.
We can’t afford to wait until next year, and I’ll be pushing for an agreement that gets this work done.
Delivering for Minnesotans
Despite the focus on our supplemental budget, like I said, there were still significant achievements this year, especially the $500 million we secured for frontline worker bonuses. While the application system for these bonuses is still being constructed, we anticipate the 45-day application period to be open around June 8 through July 22, 2022. More information is available here.
Other notable wins from this session include:
- Distributing unprecedented amounts of money to address the opioid crisis.
- Making the largest investment in high-speed broadband internet in state history.
- Funding public health infrastructure to keep people healthy and safe as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
- Protecting and supporting veterans and Gold Star families.
- Replenishing funding for Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Program, keeping businesses’ unemployment insurance tax rates flat.
- Extending the COVID-19 worker’s comp presumption for first responders, including fire fighters, police officers, paramedics, and more.
- Reducing the cost of health insurance for those who use the individual market.
- Modernizing state liquor laws to support Minnesota’s breweries and distilleries.
- Funding nation-leading ALS research.
- Providing relief to farmers impacted by the 2021 drought and delivering resources to control and contain the avian influenza outbreak.
- Preventing Republicans from infringing on a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.
Outside of the legislature, this has been a trying week for our community and nation. It wasn’t long ago that we were reeling from the tragedy in Buffalo, New York, and this week’s shooting in Uvalde, Texas has deepened our grief. On top of this, we recognized the two year anniversary since George Floyd was murdered by a Minneapolis Police Officer.
We all deserve to feel safe. In our communities. At the store. In schools. It’d be all too easy to let this grief weigh us down, but instead I ask that you channel it into action. Together, I sincerely believe that we can build a safer, more just community. We can make a better world for us and for our children, and we can convince others to help us.
In the Minnesota House, we’ve taken action against gun violence, like passing common sense gun safety measures that we’ve seen in other states - including those controlled by Republicans. More thorough background checks and red flag laws shouldn’t be controversial, but they’ve been non-starters for Republicans in the Senate.
There has been some progress in police accountability measures, but more is needed, including solutions that are tied up in negotiations for a potential public safety supplemental budget. You can read our POCI Caucus statement on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder here.
If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for our community, please continue to reach out. Though the regular legislative session is over for the year, there remains an incredible amount of work to be done, and we’ll do it better with your voice.
You can contact me at 651-296-4262 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!