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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL)

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Legislative Update - Floor Votes

Friday, April 5, 2024

Dear Neighbors,

With only about a month and a half left of session we are entering the final stretch. The next couple of weeks will be occupied with long floor sessions as we work to pass comprehensive policy bills. As always our legislation is focusing on improving the lives of working and middle class Minnesotans as we fight to make Minnesota a better place to live.

Land Value Taxation

I was recently featured in the House Session Daily which covered my bill that would allow cities to experiment with land-value taxation districts. Property taxes in these districts would be based largely (or entirely) on the value of the land rather than land plus its structures. Within the district, property taxes would go up on undeveloped properties and down on developed properties, creating an incentive to develop them. A city could create a land value tax district in an area where they wished to discourage land speculation and spur redevelopment. A city like Bloomington could use one to encourage the redevelopment of the vacant land around the Mall of America. I’ve been working with the Sierra Club on this initiative because, if broadly adopted, it would likely lead to more energy-efficient land use patterns.

House Floor Votes

This week the House began passing policy bill packages in major issue areas, building on the work of our historically productive 2023 session and improving the lives of Minnesotans. The House passed two policy bills supporting our Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs, which passed with unanimous support! 

We also passed a higher education policy bill that includes the clean energy sector in our Workforce Development Scholarship Program and expands support in higher education for students who have a disability. We also passed an early education policy bill focused on strengthening our pre-kindergarten and school readiness program. Finally, we passed a transportation policy package that improves road safety, DVS wait times, child passenger safety, and consumer protections.

4-4 Floor Vote Policy Bills

Gender Affirming Care

This morning the House Health committee heard a bill that would require insurance plans to cover medically necessary gender affirming care for people of all ages. There is a consensus within the medical profession about the basic parameters of appropriate gender affirming care for individuals experiencing the condition. This is an important step to ensure that every Minnesota receives the care they need as they live their lives in an authentic way. We recently observed Transgender Day of Visibility. I’m proud that Minnesota is a state that accepts all people for who they are, becoming a refuge for trans individuals from across the country.

Building a Clean Energy Future

In 2023, lawmakers enacted a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. To achieve this benchmark – one of the most ambitious in the nation – we need wind and solar farms to generate clean energy and transmission lines to carry that energy to the electric grid. Today, about 51% of Minnesota’s electricity comes from carbon-free sources, but according to research, to reach our 100% goal, Minnesota must double the current pace at which new solar and wind energy sources are being developed.

That’s why I support the Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act. This legislation – which has earned broad support from Minnesota utilities, clean energy advocates, and our partners in labor – will eliminate redundancies, increase transparency, and make Minnesota’s permitting process more efficient and consistent. The Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act will help us meet this critical moment and remove barriers to the clean energy future all Minnesotans deserve.

Veterans Day at the Capitol

Veterans and supporters are invited to participate in the annual Veterans Day on the Hill, on Wednesday, April 17. You can join to advocate for veterans’ issues, meet with legislators and attend the State Capitol rotunda rally.  I’m Vice-Chair of the House Veterans committee this session, and it’s been a very gratifying experience. See you there!


MPCA Small Business Environmental Loan Program

If your small business is looking to reduce on-site air emissions, clean up contamination, or generate less waste be sure to apply for the MPCA Small Business Environmental Loan program. The program offers zero-interest loans up to $75,000 to tackle these high-impact projects. You can learn more and apply here.

MPCA Loans

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. 

I've fallen way behind on my correspondence, but with the pressure of “Deadline Week” now behind us, I’m slowly working down my backlog of constituent emails.

Thanks for the honor of representing you at the Capitol. 


Steve Elkins
Representative, District 50B
Minnesota House of Representatives