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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL)

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Democracy for the People Act

Friday, April 14, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you have been able to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather before it begins to cool down again. At the Capitol, we are in the midst of budget bill season where we are passing budgets on various topics. Once the House and Senate pass our respective bills, we’ll meet in joint “conference” committees to determine the final budgets we’ll send to the Governor for his signature. We are down to a little over a month left before session must adjourn at the Capitol on May 22, 2023, so we have a lot of work before us! Here are a few highlights from this week. 

Protecting Our Democracy
We voted this week to pass the Democracy for the People Act, which expands voter participation and limits the influence of dark money in our elections. Democracy works best when everyone has the opportunity to participate and make their voice heard. We want to ensure all Minnesotans have a say in our democracy, no matter where they live, what they look like, or who they vote for. This important bill:

  • Strengthens voter registration by instituting automatic voter registration and allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to preregister to vote.
  • Strengthens access to the ballot by allowing all voters to choose to vote by mail on a permanent absentee ballot list.
  • Prohibits voter intimidation, harassment, and deceptive practices intended to interfere with the vote.
  • Provides Minnesota voters the instructions and support they need to vote, in the language they need it.
  • Closes dark money loopholes and increases transparency to unveil who is spending to influence Minnesota elections.
  • Prohibits foreign-influence corporations from spending money in our elections.

Robotics Day at the Capitol 

I'm pleased to report a bill I've chief authored with Senator Carlson to invest in paid internships for high school students all throughout Minnesota in robotics and STEM is in the House and Senate Workforce Budget bills (House $3 million and Senate $700k). The final numbers on this bill will be negotiated in the conference committee - this legislation will support and uplift a great deal of talented young leaders in our State upon passage!


Join Me This Arbor Day!

Join me this Arbor Day in Edina at Rosland Park, 4300 W. 66th St., at 10 a.m. Friday, April 28 to help plant trees! Learn more and register here.


House Higher Ed Budget Proposal

On Wednesday, we passed our proposed Higher Education budget. With declining enrollment across higher education, we’re providing a record increase in investment for Minnesota’s colleges and universities. Our budget prioritizes a higher education system that is accessible, affordable, and effectively building the skilled workforce Minnesota deserves. This bill is headed to a conference committee with the Senate now. 

Whether it’s a tuition freeze across the Minnesota State system, addressing the U of M’s tuition shortfall, investing in our tribal colleges, or ensuring today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s jobs, our Higher Education budget is a crucial component in making Minnesota an Education State.

2023 Legacy Budget Bill
In 2008, Minnesota’s voters passed the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment because all of us want our state to be a great place to live, work, and play. On Wednesday, the House passed legislation investing over $820 million to continue the important work of restoring, enhancing, and protecting Minnesota’s most treasured spaces and places and increasing access for all. This bill is heading to a conference committee with the Senate to be negotiated – we will be passing the final bill in just a few weeks. 

With investments in our outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage, the 2023 Legacy Budget Bill will make our state a better place to live for current and future generations, including by expanding free parks days and arts and cultural education programs. We are expanding opportunities so all communities can access Legacy funding. 

Capitol Visitors
Thank you to this wonderful group from the Edina Senior Center for joining Senator Mann and me at the Capitol this week!


The University of Minnesota’s Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corp joined me at the Capitol today as well for a visit!


Nonpartisan Intern Program

My Nonpartisan Summer Policy Internship is back! 

This is a great opportunity for high school students in grades 9-12 to learn about how the State government works. Interns will meet with stakeholders and work on actual legislation we may consider for the 2024 legislative session!

  • Students meet with me and the larger group twice a week from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for three weeks.
  • Deadline to apply is Friday, May 5, 2023.
  • Students will be notified by Friday, May 12, 2023, by the end of the day if they have been accepted into the Summer program.

Please send to any students you know that may be interested! This is a great opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of public policy. No experience necessary - apply today!

Pollinator Habitat

Residential yards have huge potential as pollinator habitats. Converting a portion of a turf grass lawn to a pollinator planting can be intimidating yet incredibly fruitful. As we head into prime planting season, I encourage you to check out these resources to begin your pollinator journey. These resources are being developed as part of the Lawns to Legumes program, which will encourage planting residential lawns with native vegetation and pollinator-friendly flowers and legumes to protect a diversity of pollinators.

Stay in Touch
Please continue to contact me anytime at or 651-296-4363 with your input or questions. You’re also welcome to follow me or ‘like’ my official Facebook page for additional updates.

Do you want to visit the Capitol or have an issue you want community members to know about to be included in my newsletter? Please email I am always happy to have community members and residents visit the Capitol! 

Thank you for the honor of representing our Edina and Bloomington residents and families in the Minnesota House!


Heather Edelson
State Representative - District 50A (Edina and Bloomington)