I hope you’ve all been able to spend some time enjoying the warmer weather! With just a few weeks of session remaining, I’ve been spending long days and nights on the House floor discussing the state budget with my colleagues. We’ve made significant progress, and I’m looking forward to approving more great ideas. Here’s an update on the legislation that my colleagues and I approved in our first week of budget discussions:
At the Capitol
I believe that our state budget should help Minnesotans succeed and ensure that future generations can too. I’m so excited that our energy budget does both! This budget, which the House approved last Tuesday, includes a plan to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 and new opportunities for consumers to conserve energy and save money. My Solar for Schools bill, which would help schools install solar energy, was included along with my bills to support state colleges as they transition to clean energy. These will grow our thriving clean energy economy and provide educational opportunities for our students.
Every child in Minnesota deserves a world-class education. Last Tuesday, I was proud to help pass a budget that invests in all of our students! The budget increases per-pupil funding by three percent in the first year and another two percent in the second. That funding will help our schools support students inside and outside the classroom, provide special education, and hire counselors, nurses, and other support staff without resorting to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, bond referendums or operating levies. A fact sheet about the E-12 education budget is available here.
Our tax plan makes these historic investments in our schools possible by closing corporate loopholes. It also reduces taxes for more than two-thirds of Minnesotans and simplifies the filing process for everyone! That makes our tax system fairer and helps working families, small businesses, and senior citizens. A fact sheet about the tax bill, which passed last week, is available here.
When I talk with people about their worries, many of them bring up health care. Too many Minnesotans struggle to access and afford the care that they need. Our health and human services budget, which we approved last week, would lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs, give Minnesotans more coverage options, and protect seniors who live in assisted living facilities or nursing homes, To learn more about our plan to strengthen health care for all Minnesotans, check out a fact sheet here.
In the Community
On Saturday, I attended a listening session at Plymouth Creek Christian Church to talk about health care, climate change, and equity issues. It was a great group with thoughtful questions. Many thanks to those who were able to attend and share their stories!
A column that I wrote about my ongoing work to find solutions that reflect the values of Minnesotans was published recently in the Sun Sailor. If you’d like to read it, it’s available here.
I always appreciate feedback from constituents, so please stay in touch. You can reach me at 651-296-9934 or firstname.lastname@example.org.