I hope you and your families are doing well. March is a hopeful month as Spring is upon us – and we have 10 weeks left of this legislative session with the last committee deadline around the corner on April 8th – this is where all bills with a fiscal impact have to be heard by a committee to still be considered this session.
I have been busy at the Capitol working on legislation – both having hearing for bills I have worked on with community members and the city over the Summer and Fall. Starting April 8th through the last day of Session is when you will see the legislature start to pass more bills on the House floor so get ready for those updates!
As a reminder, I sit on the Public Safety Policy and Finance, Education Policy and Labor, and Veteran Affairs and Finance Committees.
March is Women’s History Month!
In 2022 we have the most women ever to serve in the Minnesota Legislature with 51 out of 134 current representatives, 10 of whom are women of color. We are better because of their service, and must continue to build a legislature that reflects the diversity of our state!
Hunger Day at the Capitol
I had a great time meeting with Edina residents Steven and Aimee earlier today, as they were advocating to end hunger in the State of Minnesota by expanding SNAP benefits and increasing access to meals at school!
Minnesota School Social Work Advocacy Day at the Capitol
It was an honor to meet with these amazing School Social Workers and hear about how things are going in the schools they work in – it was a consensus that more access to mental health support for students and staff was a top priority.
Competency Restoration Legislation voted out of the Public Safety Committee Unanimously
I have been working for months on a complicated piece of legislation to close what we call the gap in treatment in the State of Minnesota. Last night, my colleague Rep. Albright (R-Prior Lake) and I presented the bill for the second committee stop and were grateful the legislation received unanimous support from Democrats and Republicans. A copy of the legislation can be found here.
You can read more about the issue in media coverage here.
Edina Local Option Sales Tax Bill before the Property Tax Committee
Today, the House Property Tax Committee heard my bill to increase the revenue the City of Edina can collect with a half percent location option sales tax to expand the Braemar Ice Arena. I want to thank Mayor Jim Hovland and City Manager Scott Neal for their testimony!
Recently, Minnesota Management and Budget announced a new economic forecast showing a $9.25 billion budget surplus for the current biennium. The analysis does not incorporate inflationary costs or the various impacts of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
This is a truly historic moment in our Minnesota's history, and we can't let it slip by! With this budget we are able to meaningfully fund our students, teachers, schools, and mental health workers. This increase has been driven by increased corporate profits, so it does not necessarily imply the average Minnesotan is doing better. We have a duty to lift up everyone, not make the rich richer. I will be fighting for an equitable budget to make sure the average family is able to thrive in the life they choose!
Frontline Worker Pay
Last month, the Minnesota House passed the frontline worker bonus pay legislation HF 2900, which appropriates $1 billion for bonus payments to at least 667,000 frontline workers.
The frontline worker bonus pay legislation builds upon the efforts of last year’s working group on this issue, and invests $1 billion in order to meaningfully recognize the Minnesotans who have worked on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, we are waiting for the Senate to pass this legislation so it may become law and these funds can be distributed.
Southview Middle School Environment Group Visits the Capitol
Last week, Edina Southview Middle School students joined me at the Capitol to talk about important environment and climate issues they care about. It was an honor to spend a few hours with them!