Last week was a big one for the Minnesota House, and that’ll continue this week as we pass our House proposals off the floor. Most of the bills we’re passing deal with committee issue areas. Once passed, if they differ with the Senate version (as many do), they will then go to a bipartisan conference committee. There, House and Senate members will work together to craft consensus legislation on their assigned bill, and then ideally return the legislation one last time to the House and Senate to be passed to Governor Walz for his signature.
We have already passed our House proposals in the following areas:
Our focus now turns to the debates on Health and Human Services, Taxes, Climate, Labor, and Workforce Development.
In the committees I serve on, Redistricting has already completed its work, and Health and Human Services is being debated today, which leaves the State Government and Elections bill we passed last Tuesday. This is where my proposal on IT infrastructure was included, and I spoke about this issue (in addition to Veterans and Elections) during my floor speech, which you can watch here.
I also spoke with CCX media on the issue of cybersecurity last month, which you can read more about here. I’m extremely proud of the proposal that has bipartisan support in the House and Senate. My hope is that its robust and varied support will help carry it through upcoming negotiations and ensure it is signed into law this year.
A Deal on UI & Frontline Worker Bonuses
A compromise was finally reached last week for two high priority issues of the legislative session. When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit Minnesota in March of 2020, the resulting measures to curb the spread of the virus lead to a historic number of Minnesotans utilizing the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, depleting the fund to the extent where the state was in debt to the federal government.
Additionally, a group of frontline workers - over 600,000 Minnesotans - kept our state running during the darkest days of this pandemic, often in positions that put themselves in harm's way. We owe a debt to these workers.
The compromise reached this week includes $500 million for direct payments (which should come out to about $750) to frontline workers and $2.7 billion to replenish the unemployment trust fund and prevent tax increases on small businesses that bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nature of compromise is that not everyone gets what they want, but this will soon deliver sorely-needed support to frontline workers and small businesses. This deal passed the legislature with broad bipartisan support and has already been signed into law.
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I want to hear from you!
We’re in the final month of the legislative session, and while things can certainly happen quickly, it’s all the more important to let your voice be heard on issues. To that end, if you haven’t already, please consider taking my brief legislative survey.
In addition to my survey, please feel free to contact my office with any questions, comments, or ideas you may have. You can contact me at 651-296-1761 or firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s an honor to represent our community, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Your State Representative