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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Legislative Update: March 27, 2023

Monday, March 27, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

Last week, Governor Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced they have reached an agreement on key budget decisions, taking a major step toward finalizing the two-year state budget. The agreed-upon budget framework includes historic investments for kids and families, the largest tax cut in state history, and funding to improve health and safety.

When a state writes its budget, we produce more than a fiscal document. We lay out what Minnesotans value. We have been listening to Minnesotans, and we are drawing on thousands of face-to-face conversations we've had with people at their doors, listening tours, and town hall meetings over the years. Whether it’s ensuring no child goes without breakfast and lunch in school, or providing some more economic security for families, this budget agreement puts Minnesotans first.

In the coming weeks, much of the work at the Capitol will be devoted to turning this broad agreement into specifics.  For example, the agreement contemplates a $3 billion tax cut (the largest cut in state history).  Proposals to repeal the tax on social security, cut property taxes, expand the working family tax credit, and others have all been heard and considered by the Taxes Committees in the House and Senate.  Now both chambers will have to wrestle with which of these proposals to do (and how much of them to do) to add up to a $3 billion cut. 

Here’s an update from a busy week in Saint Paul.



Preventing Catalytic Converter Thefts 

Catalytic converter thefts have seen a stark increase in the past years, with law enforcement often unable to track these thefts or trace back the converters. We have seen Minnesotans and auto dealerships struggle with this rise, and that’s why I’ve fought to strengthen protections against these crimes.

Governor Walz recently signed into law the bill House and Senate DFL majorities crafted and passed. It increases penalties for the illegal possession and sale of catalytic converters, making it more difficult for people to steal and sell them. You can read more about the new law, which takes effect on August 1st of this year, here.

Reproductive Freedom Defense Act  

On Monday of last week, the House passed HF 366, the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act. The bill protects the privacy and rights of persons receiving or providing reproductive health care in the state against legal attacks and criminal penalties imposed in other states.

When some states are doing everything they can to restrict the rights of women, in Minnesota, we value the fundamental rights of everyone to access reproductive health care without any interference from partisan, elected politicians. The Reproductive Freedom Defense Act amends existing laws, including those regarding medical privacy, licensure, extradition, and prosecutorial procedure to reflect the reality that some states consider reproductive health care a crime and Minnesota explicitly does not. 

It is crucial to act now to protect patients and providers in Minnesota and those coming to Minnesota seeking care from the attacks enabled by last year’s Supreme Court decision.


Investing in Clean Energy Projects

We passed a bill last night that ensures Minnesota is in the best position to unlock federal funds for clean energy projects, meet our climate goals, and transition to a cleaner future. The legislation invests $115 million to unlock billions in federal funds and will create good-paying union jobs, ensuring that everyone can benefit from this clean energy transition.

These federal funds would be available all across the state, in communities large and small. It aids Tribal governments and disadvantaged communities, and it will make Minnesota competitive with other states to bring billions in clean energy dollars here. It will also help Minnesota meet our Climate Action Framework goals to deliver clean energy that is affordable, reliable, and safe.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime if you need assistance or have questions at or 651-296-5513.

It’s an honor to represent our Coon Rapids and Anoka families in St. Paul.


Rep. Zack Stephenson

Minnesota House of Representatives