This has been a busy week in the Minnesota Legislature, but before I get into our work I want to recognize the news our community recently received on the Minneapolis Police Department’s violations of the Minnesota Human Rights Act.
As a member of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus, and a member of the Minneapolis Delegation, I stand with my colleagues in thanking the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for their work and in calling for the systemic change that needs to take place at MPD. The findings of human rights violations were as unsurprising as they were horrific.
A spotlight continues to be on Minneapolis, not for all the things that make our city great, but for the failings of those meant to protect our neighbors. In my position, I will continue to push for the necessary reforms to implement accountability, empower marginalized communities, and repair trust with residents.
A Compromise on UI and Frontline Worker Bonuses
This week, a deal was struck between the House, Senate, and Governor to replenish the state’s depleted Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund and to send checks to the Minnesotans who kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic.
We’re one of the only divided state legislatures in the nation, so compromises have always been a factor in successful legislation these past few years. The nature of compromise is not everyone gets what they want, but this will ultimately deliver checks to frontline workers (estimated to be $750) and support to small businesses.
In the DFL House, we managed to increase the investment in these frontline workers to $500 million, a $250 increase from last year, and expand the eligibility of who will be able to receive them. As many as 667,000 frontline workers and their families will benefit from these bonuses - which they have more than earned.
You can read more on this issue here.
The House Supplemental Budget
This week and the next, much of our time is being spent on the House floor, debating and passing bills that are the culmination of our committee work this year. With a historic budget surplus, we’re passing bills that build off our work from last year to help Minnesota bounce back from the struggles of the past few years.
Already we’ve passed our proposals on Legacy, Agriculture, Housing, Broadband, Transportation, State Government, Veterans, Pensions, Education, Environment, and Higher Education. Right now, we’re currently debating our Judiciary and Public Safety proposals.
These are all incredibly important proposals, and since many of them are vastly different from what is coming out of the Republican-controlled Senate, these bills will then go into bipartisan conference committees where House and Senate legislators will attempt to craft consensus legislation. Once all of our proposals are passed, this will take up most of our time in the remaining weeks of the legislative session.
For some of the highlights on our already-passed House proposals, you can read more on what we’re proposing in Education, State Government, and Housing below.