Dear Granite City Neighbors,
The last few weeks have been big ones, with legislative wins focused on feeding students, investing in our justice system and public safety, and standing up for workers - continuing our hot streak of delivering for Minnesotans! There’s a lot to recap, so get comfortable.
Here’s your report from the Capitol:
First Committee Hearing: Protections for Meat Packing Workers
Last week, I presented HF 23, the Safe Workplaces for Meat & Poultry Processing Workers Act.
After 90 minutes of discussion and debate, it passed the House Labor Committee on a 11-2 bipartisan vote! Thanks to the workers who traveled from all over the state to testify in support of the bill.
Celebrating HF 23’s bipartisan 11-2 vote out of the House Labor Committee with UFCW workers
Meatpacking workers in our community and across the state are often forced to make a gut-wrenching choice: do they go into unsafe working conditions and risk harm to themselves or their family, or do they try to get by without a sorely-needed paycheck?
My bill would take steps to ensure they’re not faced with that impossible choice. Though the pandemic is behind us, the unfinished work of this bill remains. All Minnesota workers deserve safe, healthy workspaces, and our meatpackers should be no different.
You can read more about this bill here.
PASSED: Universal School Meals, Food Shelf Funding
As the dad of two daughters, I know all too well that hungry kids can’t learn at their full capacity. Heck, when I miss a meal, I can’t operate at my full capacity either.
I voted YES to pass two important bills aimed at addressing food insecurity in our schools and community. HF 5 would create a state program for schools to provide up to two free meals per day to all students, and HF 213, which I co-authored, would provide an investment of $5 million for food shelf programs in light of record numbers of visits to food shelves last year.
As my colleague Rep. Heather Keeler said during the debate, “If we’re hungry, we’re hangry. If we’re hangry, we’re not the best Minnesotans we can be.”
PASSED: Resources to Prosecute Violent Crimes
One of my top priorities is making our community more safe by cracking down on violent crimes. That’s why I voted YES to pass a bipartisan bill that will boost funding to provide counties with the tools they need to prosecute heinous crimes statewide.
With additional public safety investments, and in partnership with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, this bill, which has already passed in the senate, would allow us to hire more prosecutors so they can expand their scope to charge violent crimes. These offenses, including crimes like assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, human trafficking, sex trafficking, homicide, and more, are an affront on our communities and our society.
It is up to us to make sure we have working systems in place to hold offenders accountable and ensure safety to all Minnesotans.
Minnesotans deserve to be and feel safe, wherever they live.
PASSED: Bills to Address the Child Care Shortage
Minnesota is facing a dire child care shortage. Additionally, with low reimbursement rates, child care providers are struggling to offer competitive wages and in some cases, to even keep their doors open.
I voted YES to pass a pair of bills with robust investments aimed at stabilizing child care and early learning. HF 13 increases the maximum reimbursement rates for all Child Care Assistance Program providers. HF 150 increases the amount of child care stabilization grants – a key initiative launched during the pandemic – for child care programs. The bill also expands eligibility for early learning scholarships to children age five or younger.
Child care and early learning are both crucial for kids to develop, grow, and learn, but also for family economic security. If a parent can’t afford daycare (if they can even find a daycare spot), they can’t join the workforce. If businesses can’t hire workers, then they can’t grow. I was proud to support these investments to help kids, families, and communities thrive.
PASSED: Earned Sick and Safe Time
I voted YES to pass a bill to guarantee that all Minnesota workers have access to Earned Sick and Safe Time. All Minnesotans deserve the ability to care for themselves or a loved one when they’re sick without risking a paycheck - but that’s not the case for 900,000 workers in our state.
This legislation would ensure, at a minimum, one hour of paid Earned Sick and Safe Time for every 30 hours worked, up to at least 48 hours per year. Voting for this bill is a vote to make Minnesota a more welcoming and supportive state for children and families.
NAMED: Sleetwood Mac
A new addition to the “Seven Wonders”? The results are in, and it’s going to be easier to “Go Your Own Way” with a new plow in town. Following the return of MNDOT’s famous Name a Snowplow contest, keep an eye out for the forthcoming snowplow of our “Dreams.” Sleetwood Mac will soon be on the road, not “Everywhere,” but specifically our Central Minnesota region.
Please Ask Questions & Share Feedback
I want to hear from you! So please, if you have any questions or comments, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-6612. You are my boss and I work for you, so always feel free to get in touch and let me know how I can best serve you and your family.
Thanks for reading and stay safe on the roads!
Rep. Dan Wolgamott
Speaker Pro Tempore