Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart and I are holding a town hall dedicated to education next week! I'm excited to talk about our efforts to make sure every Minnesotan gets a world-class education and to hear your questions, ideas, and feedback. I hope you can join us at Gro Tonka Park on Tuesday, August 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
We’re going to collect donations for ResourceWest – an organization that provides school supplies to local students – at the town hall. If you’re planning to attend and able to help, you can find lists of the supplies they need most and things that have been requested on ResourceWest’s website.
Coffee with Chris
Sen. Johnson Stewart and I are also joining Hennepin County Commissioner Chris LaTondresse for an event this weekend. If you’d like to have a conversation with us and other community members over coffee, you can stop by Ridgedale Library on Saturday, August 7 from 10 to !0:45 a.m.
Overview of My Bills
I’ve described some of the budget bills legislators passed this year in previous emails. This week, I’d like to share information about twelve bills I introduced this session that were signed into law. Here’s a summary of each of them:
Investing in Solar on Schools (HF 1427) - provides $16 million to help school districts install solar energy systems on their buildings. This will reduce electricity costs, which are often schools’ second largest expense, and create educational opportunities for students.
Strengthening Home-Based Health Care (HF 446) - increases payment rates for home health agency services and home care nursing services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and more.
Allowing Parents and Spouses to be Compensated for PCA Work (HF 1159) - allows an individual’s parent or spouse to be reimbursed for providing personal care assistance (PCA) services during public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law reduces the number of hours required to qualify for an enhanced reimbursement rate as well. These changes will help keep vulnerable Minnesotans safe and better support those who care for them.
Investing in Climate Research (HF 2420) - funds a University of Minnesota study that will produce weather-model projections for the entire state. The projections will help us understand and plan for impacts of climate change.
Supporting Regional Parks and Trails (HF 1874) - delivers funding to maintain parks, trails, and recreation areas in the metropolitan area.
Extending the Cold Weather Rule (HF 912) - lengthens the cold weather rule, a policy that prohibits shutting heat off in Minnesotans’ homes during the coldest months of the year. The rule will take effect two weeks earlier in the fall and stay in effect two weeks longer each spring.
Building Energy Efficiency (HF 1256) - creates a framework for a nonprofit organization dedicated to energy efficiency to work with businesses and utilities to prepare for and accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies. This law will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save Minnesotans money.
Extending a Tax Exemption for the City of Minnetonka (HF 654) - extends the sales tax exemption for materials, supplies, and equipment used to make changes that improve access to a fire station and police station in Minnetonka by one year.
Expanding Uses of TIF Funds in Minnetonka (HF 1322) - allows Minnetonka to use revenue generated by tax increment funding (TIF) districts to support affordable housing and the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Improving Access to Direct Care (HF 976) - directs the Department of Human Services to develop new Medical Assistance (MA) policies so Minnesotans can receive direct care services in acute care hospitals.
Protecting Medications during Shipping (HF 1158) - establishes a study to find ways to make sure sensitive medications aren’t exposed to high or low temperatures that impact their efficacy while they’re in the mail.
Increasing Access to Injectable Medications (HF 448) - modifies the definition of “prescription drug” under current law to include injectable medications so cost savings programs and certain discounts can be offered.
I always appreciate hearing from community members! If you’re unable to attend the town hall next week or want to discuss a different issue, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 296-9934.