This has been a full week in the Minnesota House. On Sunday, Governor Walz gave his 4th State of the State Address, but due to the pandemic, only his 2nd in the House Chamber. It was great to welcome him, and of course, Senator Steve Cwodzinski.
If you missed it, you can watch Governor Walz’s speech here.
The House Proposals
We’ve been debating and passing bills on the House floor for most of this week. These bills are the culmination of our committee work this biennium, and once passed, we’ll then begin negotiations with the Senate to craft our final bills. So far, we’ve passed our House proposals in the following areas:
Still to come today is our Judiciary and Public Safety bill. Next week, we’ll be debating our legislation on Health and Human Services, Taxes, Climate, Labor, and Workforce Development.
These proposals were crafted to lift up Minnesotans all across our state. Of the bills that have passed so far, much of my work for the Early Childhood Finance and Policy Committee was included in the Education bill. The bill helps our littlest learners get off to a great start - and keep right on going until graduation. You can watch my floor speech below.
All Minnesota students deserve a world-class education, no matter where they live, what they look like, or their learning ability. That’s why our E-12 Education bill fights to meet the academic and mental health needs of our students after a challenging couple of years.
A Deal on UI and Frontline Worker Bonuses
Throughout the pandemic, historic numbers of Minnesotans received unemployment insurance (UI), depleting the fund and putting the state in debt to the federal government. You may remember that back in February, I introduced HF 3000, to replenish the trust fund and allow our school hourly workers to participate in our unemployment insurance program. This week, a deal was finally struck on replenishing the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and delivering bonus checks to the frontline workers who kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic. As we are one of the nation’s only divided legislatures, a compromise had to be reached. So - I’m disappointed to share that hourly school workers were not part of the final deal.
It’s not perfect, as is the nature of compromise, but our businesses will be able to avoid a tax increase, and we are delivering (an estimated) $750 checks to our frontline workers. These checks are the result of the House DFL pushing to recognize and support these Minnesotans and their families who have sacrificed so much in the past few years. I am happy to report that we were able to increase our investment in frontline workers by $250 million in this deal.
There are more long days on the House floor coming up! You can stay tuned by checking the latest on House Public Info, watching live on YouTube, and you can also “like” and follow my Facebook page.
Please continue to reach out with your questions, comments, and ideas as we start the process of negotiating our final bills of the year. The best way to contact me is at email@example.com or 651-296-7449. I look forward to hearing from you!