I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the improving weather, summer is almost here! This week has largely consisted of conference committee meetings where a few members from the House and the Senate come together to work out the differences in our budget bills. We are just a couple weeks away from the end of session so I’ll be able to share the final shape of these bills soon!
Members and Staff of the House Tax Committee upon passage of our Tax Bill in the House
Paid Family and Medical Leave This week, the Minnesota House passed Paid Family and Medical Leave. The bill provides Minnesota workers up to 12 weeks of paid family leave to care for family or themselves. The program is funded by a small employer and employee contribution, meaning lost wages from time off will be recovered by the State fund, not employers.
Every day in Minnesota, workers face the impossible choice of either going to work to earn a paycheck or staying home to take care of themselves or a sick family member. While some workers have jobs that provide paid sick leave, thousands of Minnesotans do not have access to a single paid day off.Those in the lowest wage positions generally fare the worst.
Last week we worked day and night to pass several critical budget bills, while some of these will change after we finish negotiations with the Senate, here are explanations of the House bills.
Our public safety budget makes record investments in law enforcement and crime prevention measures.
Gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the U.S. We can’t allow that to continue. That’s why our bill contains red flag laws and improved background checks, making all of our children safer.
With increased funding for things like the Bureau of Criminal affairs, more crimes will be solved across the state making every community safer. We also invest in community crime prevention to prevent crime and violence before it happens.
Our tax bill contains the largest tax cut in state history, and returns a great deal of the surplus to Minnesotans who need it the most, like our most vulnerable seniors and lower income families.
It also contains rebates and credits for property taxes, meaning renters and homeowners will get more back than ever before.
We also included a large increase for local government and county aid. This means local governments will receive more funds to complete day-to-day services, so won’t have to rely on property taxes as much.
Judiciary and Civil Law
“Liberty and justice for all” is a central principle of our country, but too often folks don’t receive justice if they don’t have enough wealth. Our judiciary budget makes our justice system more equal.
This bill fully funds public defenders and civil legal services so you can get the help you need no matter your income.
We also increased funding for the Department of Human Rights so we can better track and stop hate crimes.
Health care should be simple, affordable, and accessible to everyone. Our health budget makes transformational investments that make health care more affordable for everyone.
We begin the process of creating an option for people to sign up for the State’s MinnesotaCare basic health plan so everyone has access to affordable care.
The bill also includes significant funding for mental health, meaning that more Minnesotans will get the help they need when they need it.
Keep in Touch
Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance. Please follow me on my Facebook page for further updates and invite your friends and family to do so as well.
Thanks for the honor of representing you at the Capitol.
Steve Elkins Representative, District 50B Minnesota House of Representatives