We finished passing a state budget on Wednesday! The two-year budget includes a historic increase in funding for public schools, significant investments in public health, tax cuts for workers and small businesses impacted by COVID-19, measures to improve police accountability, funding for roads and public transit, rental assistance, and more.
If you’d like to read more about a particular area of the budget, you can click on the following links to view a nonpartisan summary provided by House Public Information Services: Legacy; Agriculture and Broadband; Higher Education; Commerce, Climate, and Energy; Transportation; Housing; Environment and Natural Resources; Jobs and Labor; E-12 Education; Health and Human Services; Public Safety and Judiciary; State Government, Elections, and Veterans; and Taxes.
If you’d like to talk about the new budget or discuss hopes for the future, please join Rep. Ginny Klevorn and me at our next town hall. We’re excited to host our first in-person gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic began! We hope to see you at the Parkers Lake North Picnic Shelter on Monday, July 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Addressing the Climate Crisis
Climate change is one of the top concerns my colleagues and I hear about in conversations with Minnesotans, particularly young people. The Commerce, Climate, and Energy budget we passed recently takes several steps to address this crisis. This bipartisan budget, which I helped develop, invests in clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these investments will also reduce costs and create well-paying jobs.
I'm happy to report that the budget includes $16 million for Solar on Schools, a proposal I’ve championed since I was elected two years ago! This new grant program will help school districts install solar energy systems on their building to reduce electricity costs – which are often schools’ second largest expense - and create educational opportunities for students. More action is needed to accelerate our transition to clean energy and ensure communities across Minnesota can withstand the impacts of climate change, but this bipartisan budget is a step in the right direction.
Investing in Our Students
All students deserve a world-class education, no matter where they live, what they look like, or what their learning abilities are. Last weekend, we passed a bipartisan E-12 Education budget that makes historic investments in Minnesota students. The budget increases the per-pupil funding by 2.45 percent this coming year and another 2 percent the following year. Under the new formula, Wayzata Public Schools will receive $189 more per student next year and $325 more the year after that. Per-pupil funding for Hopkins Public Schools will increase by $296 and $444 over the next two years, and Minnetonka Public Schools will see increases of $185 and $326.
These investments – the largest in 15 years – will help public schools retain teachers and keep class sizes from growing. The budget also preserves voluntary pre-K opportunities, addresses school districts’ special education and English learner cross-subsidies, and invests in recruiting and retaining teachers of color and American Indian teachers. It will help Minnesota students recover from challenges they experienced during the pandemic and prepare for the bright futures they all deserve.
Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care
All Minnesotans deserve access to high-quality, affordable health care. The Health and Human Services budget we passed on Saturday contains historic investments to help secure a healthy future for Minnesotans across the state. The budget also contains several measures to reduce disparities in our health care system. There’s lots of great things in this bill, but here are some of the highlights:
Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or if I can ever be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you!