I hope this email finds you well and hopefully done shoveling after last week’s storm. It has been another exciting week at the Capitol. Here is the latest on what we have been working on.
Update on the catalytic converter theft bill
Last week, we voted to pass a bill cracking down on catalytic converter thefts. In the Senate, some minor language changes were made to the bill, creating the need for the House to pass it again. It will be headed back to the floor for a vote to concur. We expect it to head back to the House floor for this vote soon.
The Pathway Home Act
Thursday night, we passed HF444, known as the Pathway Home Act. This bill significantly increases funding to critical state programs that support shelter providers across Minnesota in their direct response and service to Minnesotans who are currently unsheltered.
Emergency services and shelters save lives and keep people safe. The Pathway Home Act invests $150 million through 2028 to preserve and add over 3,000 shelter beds throughout Minnesota to ensure more people can receive services and housing regardless of their background or zip code. This investment will put roofs over more heads and ensure more unhoused Minnesotans have a safe place to go.
Ratifying labor agreements
The House also voted to pass HF800, which ratifies two contracts agreed to by the Minnesota Government Engineers Council and Minnesota State College Faculty which include pay raises, step increases, additional paid holidays, and recruiting and referral incentives. It also approves multiple memorandums of understanding from contracts approved in previous years, including MAPE and AFSCME contracts, with provisions to improve state employee retention.
Preventing price gouging
Another great bill we passed on Thursday was HF 6, which will put new guardrails into state law to prevent unconscionable price gouging during times of emergency, such as a pandemic or natural disaster. I proudly voted to support all these great bills. We all witnessed how much price gouging for basic necessities hurts Minnesotan families during the pandemic, and we are taking action now to make sure that in the future, Minnesotans do not have to pay insane prices for basic goods in times of emergency.
Investing in the Boys and Girls Club
This week in the Workforce Development Finance and Policy Committee, we heard legislation to invest $1 million per year for the biennium in the Minnesota Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, with the funding being used for a statewide project of youth job skills and career development. Investing in our young Minnesotans is one of the best investments we can make for the future of our state and for ourselves, and it is an investment I am thrilled to make.
Keep in touch
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I appreciate your attention to these legislative updates. Have a good week.