Recently 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.
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. This is a direct result of Minnesotans all over the state who entrusted the DFL with a government majority.
Here’s an update from Saint Paul.
House Passes Agriculture Budget Bill
On Thursday the House approved the Agriculture budget bill, funding $48 million in new investments for farmers, land, and food production in Minnesota. The bill includes a grain indemnity fund for farmers, provisions to increase food access, and protections for soil health.
I’m proud to have Chaired the Agriculture Committee this year and present a balanced budget that represents rural and urban farmers, big and small farmers, for the environment and sustainability of agriculture. Whether it’s protecting farmers, ensuring our soil remains healthy, or providing food for every Minnesotan – we are making sure Minnesota is a national leader.
My bill to prevent hate crimes has been included in the Public Safety budget proposal.
This legislation improves the reporting of hate and bias incidents, along with training police officers to identify and support victims. This bill will go a long way toward giving us the data and full understanding needed to track the rise in hate and bias incidents so we can actively work to put an end to hate.
I recently did an interview with MPR on this topic. You can listen to it here.
New PFAS Protections
Recently, the Biden Administration announced the Environmental Protection Agency will require utilities to remove PFAS from drinking water. It is estimated as many as 200 million Americans are currently exposed to PFAS chemicals through drinking water. The EPA regulation would include testing and filtering of six PFAS chemicals.
I’m incredibly thankful we will be seeing federal action on getting PFAS out of drinking water. Now, we need to take it a step further. It’s corporate greed that got us into this mess, and we need to turn off the faucet on PFAS in more than just water. These cancer-causing chemicals are found in products and packaging we use every single day, and they're actively harming our health, our families, and our future.
Passing our First Budget Bills
This week the House passed its first budget bill, investing in outdoor herritage, clean water, arts, and culture.
In 2008, Minnesota’s voters passed the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment because all of us want our state to be a great place to live, work, and play. Today, House DFLers passed legislation investing over $820 million to continue the important work of restoring, enhancing, and protecting Minnesota’s most treasured spaces and places and increasing access for all.
With investments in our outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage, the 2023 Legacy Budget Bill will make our state a better place to live for current and future generations, including by expanding free parks days and arts and cultural education programs. DFLers are expanding opportunities so all communities can access Legacy funding.
National Prescription Drug Takeback Day
Next Saturday, April 22nd, is National Prescription Drug Takeback Day. Our communities will have dedicated locations where people can drop off unused prescription drugs so that they can be disposed of safely.
Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands. That is dangerous and often tragic. That's why it is so important for all of us to clean out our medicine cabinets and turn in - safely and anonymously – unused prescription drugs. You can click on this link to find a drop-off location near you.
Stay in Touch
Please reach out to my office if you need assistance with anything. I am best reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or please contact my Legislative Assistant Matthew at email@example.com. I always appreciate hearing from you. You can also follow along on my official Facebook page here.