I hope you were able to spend some time celebrating Earth Day yesterday! I went for a morning walk in a favorite park before returning to the Capitol for another long day of debate. Fittingly, we took up the Environment and Natural Resources omnibus bill in the evening.
Our Environment and Natural Resources bill, which passed with bipartisan support, aims to protect Minnesota’s clean air, water, and land for many years to come. It delivers funding to manage significant threats like climate change, pollution, and invasive species; strengthens environmental protections; expands access to the outdoors and outdoor recreation for children and young adults; protects animals and insects, including pollinators; and addresses racial and economic disparities that put communities of color, Indigenous communities, and low-income communities at a higher risk for exposure to pollution and hazardous chemicals. One of the bills I authored was included as well. It invests $16.2 million in regional parks and trails across the metro area!
Addressing the Climate Crisis
As chair of the House Climate Action Caucus, I’m proud of the Climate and Energy bill that we passed earlier this week. Our omnibus bill puts Minnesota on a path to reach 100 percent clean energy by 2040 and net-zero emissions by 2050. This rapid transition would create good-paying jobs, affordable energy, and new industries. Other measures ensure that all Minnesotans – especially those who are disproportionately impacted by climate change – can access these benefits.
The legislation contains several bills I authored, including the Next Generation Climate Act, which sets ambitious goals for reducing Minnesota’s carbon emissions that reflect the latest scientific knowledge. It also invests $10 million in Solar on Schools, my plan to help school districts save money by installing solar energy systems.
Now that the House and Senate have passed Energy bills, legislators from both chambers will form “conference committees” and try to reach a compromise. As one of the five House members chosen to serve on the Energy and Commerce Conference Committee, I’ll continue advocating for these critical investments in our future. I’m looking forward to working with my Senate Colleagues.
If you’d like to learn more about the bill, check out the Capitol Climate Connections podcast that I host with Rep. Jamie Long. This month, we spoke with some of the dedicated young Minnesotans who are advocating for climate solutions at the Legislature, in schools, and in their communities. You can find the latest episode here or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Improving Public Safety
While I’m grateful that Derek Chauvin was found guilty, holding him accountable for the murder of George Floyd is just the first step towards justice. We cannot be satisfied with this verdict alone. We must keep working to ensure that Black lives are valued and protected in our communities and in Minnesota.
The Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform bill that we passed on Wednesday evening provides funding for law enforcement and needed reforms. These practical measures will help keep everyone safer and ensure police officers have the trust of the people that they serve, which they need to perform their jobs safely and effectively. Highlights of this bill include measures that would:
- Allow local governments to establish civilian oversight councils
- Enhance training and require the development of new model policies
- Support community organizations working to prevent crime
- Invest in body cameras and prohibit altering, destroying, or withholding the footage
- Limit the use of no-knock warrants
Please feel free to call or email me if you have any questions or feedback that you’d like to share. You can reach me at 651-296-9934 or email@example.com.