Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Liz Olson (DFL)

Back to profile

Rep. Olson: the Capitol to the Community – May 21, 2023

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

It’s the final weekend of the legislative session – we’re constitutionally required to adjourn by Monday – and we’re wrapping up work on assembling a new two-year budget. I’m honored to help contribute to this effort as chair of the Committee on Ways and Means, and I simply could not do it without a great team around me, including Vice Chair Rep. Heather Edelson and our talented, dedicated staff. Thank you for everything you do!

Rep. Edelson, Rep. Olson, and nonpartisan staff holding coffee

Here are nonpartisan recaps of the budget items we’ve passed off the House floor so far: Agriculture, Housing, TaxesLegacy, Higher Education, Veterans, Jobs & Labor, E-12 Education, Judiciary & Public Safety, Commerce, State Government & Elections, Environment & Energy, Human Services, and Early Education. Transportation and Health legislation is still before us, as well as a package of investments in public infrastructure.

I’m deeply grateful to everyone in our community for the opportunity to take part in this transformational work to help Minnesotans succeed.


Earned Sick and Safe Time

Lawmakers recently passed the conference committee report for the Jobs & Labor Budget Bill, which included numerous new protections for workers. I’m incredibly proud it includes my legislation to expand Earned Sick and Safe Time to all Minnesota workers. The ability to take care of yourself when you’re sick, to take care of a sick child, or to go to the doctor without forgoing a paycheck should be a basic expectation for all Minnesota workers, and is a benefit workers in Duluth already have.

I’m thrilled Earned Sick and Safe Time is on the verge of becoming law in this state. The credit goes to the workers and allies who – in the face of powerful opposition – put in the hard work to tell stories and share the impact the new law would have on families to help them thrive.


Historic Investments in Education

I was also excited to support our E-12 Education budget bill, which we’ve now sent to the Governor’s desk after reaching a compromise between the House and the Senate. The budget represents a transformative investment totaling $2.2 billion worth of new investments aimed at providing stability and support to students, educators, and our public schools. The bill increases the general education formula by 4% in 2024 and 2% in 2025, with future increases linked to inflation for greater financial predictability. It addresses special education and English Learner programs, reduces cross-subsidy, and triples funding for English Learners. The bill also focuses on creating a welcoming learning environment, hiring support staff, expanding Full-Service Community Schools, and promoting diversity in the curriculum. It includes initiatives for teacher recruitment, workplace protections, and career pathways for students. Overall, it reflects a strong commitment on the part of DFLers at the Capitol to ensuring all students can access the world-class education they deserve.


Tackling Gun Violence

After many years of advocacy by Minnesotans across the state, two critical gun violence prevention measures have been signed into law. Our Judiciary & Public Safety Conference Committee Report included a provision to require criminal background checks on gun sales as well as a “red flag” law to help ensure those at high risk of harming themselves or others can’t access firearms. Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was present as Governor Walz signed this overdue legislation into law. I’m grateful to everyone who has made their voices heard to keep people in our state safe.

Gabby Giffords speaking with Gov. Walz and legislators

Please continue to be in touch with your feedback and input. It’s an honor to represent you.


Liz Olson
State Representative