The House has approved our components of the state budget. It was a long two weeks with many late nights of debate and discussion.
After the Minnesota Senate approves their respective budget bills, lawmakers from each chamber will form a conference committee to reach agreement on a final budget. If there is legislation you care deeply about, please be sure to contact my office by email or phone.
Below is a summary of the budget bills passed:
Every child deserves to get a great start and an opportunity to get a world-class education, which is why I was very excited that the House E-12 education budget bill was approved last Tuesday.
The E-12 education budget includes new investments that would:
I’m pleased that my ‘Breakfast after the Bell’ initiative was included in the final House budget.
- Increase the per-pupil funding formula by 3% in 2020 and by another 2% in 2021.
- Keep students, teachers, and staff safer while in school.
- Address Minnesota’s special education funding shortfall.
- Protect access to voluntary Pre-K programs for 4,000 children.
- Enable schools to hire additional student support staff, such as licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses.
- Expand students’ ability to earn college credits and develop skills through career and technical education programs.
You can read more about the bill here.
Health and Human Services
The Minnesota House approved the Health and Human Services budget on Thursday. The House HHS budget would help ensure that all Minnesotans can access the high-quality, affordable health care they deserve. It makes prescription drugs more affordable, expands coverage options, and ensures care remains available for all Minnesotans. I’m pleased to share we’re addressing high premiums in the HHS budget for Minnesotans who purchase their health insurance through a private plan on the individual market. These individuals would receive a 20 percent direct premium discount.
My proposal that raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21 statewide has also been incorporated into the HHS Budget. We are truly optimistic we can still have this legislation passed this session. I was encouraged to see the Senate pass last night an expansion of the Clean Indoor Act to include e-cigarettes, as the House did several weeks ago.
On Thursday evening, the House Tax bill passed off of the House Floor. There were a few strong provisions in the bill, such as a social security tax exemption, tax conformity, and additional funding for the angel investment tax credit. That said, I was uncomfortable with the scope and breadth of the bill and the types of taxes raised and was obligated to vote against it. I’m confident after negotiations with the Senate, the final numbers will be less than the projected increases presented on the House and a good compromise will be made.
The Minnesota House approved the two-year Public Safety and Judiciary budget this week. I’m pleased that we’ve included gun safety measures to require criminal background checks to be performed prior to all gun sales and to provide for Extreme Risk Protection Orders, allowing law enforcement to restrict access to firearms if a court determines a person may be a threat to themselves or others. A fact sheet about steps other states have taken to address gun violence is available here.
|The bill also funds corrections, the courts, criminal apprehension and law enforcement officers, human rights protections and many other areas, along with investments in a safer, more just Minnesota.
My bill, which funds the Youth Intervention Programs to help keep kids and adolescents out of the corrections system has been incorporated into the Public Safety budget.
Environment and Natural Resources
The House approved the Environment and Natural Resources budget yesterday, which includes funding to protect, restore, and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources. Minnesotans know our state is a special place to live and want it to remain that way for years to come. They expect us to protect our environment and natural resources so they can be enjoyed by future generations.
I was pleased to meet with constituents from Edina this week who were advocating for affordable housing options on Habitat for Humanity Day at the Capitol.
Keep in Touch
Please continue to contact me with any questions, input, or suggestions. I appreciate hearing from you!