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

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Legislative Update - Passing Policy Bills

Friday, April 12, 2024
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Dear Neighbors, 

We’ve reached the point in the legislative session where the bulk of our work is now focused on passing the policy bills coming out of our House committees. Like our budget bills last year, these policy bills will follow a similar route.

Rep. Keeler in Committee

The House and Senate will pass their own individual proposals, and while our ultimate goals are often aligned with our DFL colleagues in the Senate, it’s usually expected that these policy bills will have some differences, and a conference committee made up of House and Senate members will have to meet to craft a compromise bill that will then be sent to Governor Walz to be signed into law.

So far we’ve passed policy bills covering Higher Education, Transportation, Early Education, Public Safety, K-12 Education, and our Elections. Each of those links leads to a nonpartisan summary of the legislation we’ve passed. 

As Vice Chair of the Children and Families Committee, I’m especially proud of our Early Education policy bill, which builds on the $2 billion investment we made last year in childcare and early learning. Our proposal streamlines the state’s voluntary pre-k and school readiness programs to ensure 7,000 of our youngest learners are getting the jumpstart they need for their education.

We’re voting on more policy bills in the coming days, and I look forward to working with our Senate colleagues to pass the best possible proposals into law for Minnesotans. 


Clay County Psychiatric Treatment Facility

It’s not just policy bills we’re working on at the legislature this year. Though we’ve already passed the majority of our investments in our state budget last year, we’re still working on a Capital Investment bill that would fund local infrastructure projects throughout Minnesota. One project I’m bringing to our Capital Investment Committee is the need to fund a psychiatric treatment facility in Clay County. 

An investment in mental health, from border to border, is crucial for building a better Minnesota. In the conversations I’ve had in our community, it’s clear a facility like this would not only be a benefit to Clay County, but the entire region. The lack of mental health support, especially for our kids, needs to be addressed, and with only four of these facilities in the entire state, we’re overdue for a new one.

I want to thank the Clay County officials that made the trip to St. Paul to testify on this important bill with me. InForum covered our hearing, and the need for such a facility, which you can read here.

Forum Article


Simplifying Supportive Housing Resources

Even as we pass policy bills off the House floor, we’re still hearing them in committee. This week, I presented a bill I recently introduced, House File 5200. My bill would create a working group on simplifying supportive housing resources for people experiencing homelessness.

Last year, we passed numerous investments for Minnesotans facing homelessness and housing insecurity, and while those investments were crucial, there’s more we can do to make these support systems more streamlined and accessible. It shouldn’t be complicated to get help!

The working group would be made up of legislators, state agency staff, county officials, and various advocates and stakeholders, all of whom would be tasked with reducing administrative complexities, enhancing equity and accessibility, simplifying eligibility criteria, and accelerating the transition of individuals from homelessness to sustainable long-term solutions.

If passed, the group would start meeting this summer, with the goal of submitting solutions to the legislature by the end of the year. It’s not enough to fund solutions if people can’t access resources, and I look forward to fighting for this bill in our remaining weeks of session. 


Tax Day is April 15

Last year, we made big moves to help working families, and you’ll feel some of the benefits this year as you file your 2023 taxes.

If you’re a renter, don't forget to claim your property tax refund! This is the first year renters will be able to receive their Renter’s Credit with their tax filing rather than later in the year. Along with making it simpler and more convenient, we also expanded the credit to many Minnesotans who didn’t qualify previously.  

I also want to remind you again that nearly 300,000 Minnesota households are eligible for the nation-leading Child Tax Credit! With our Child Tax Credit, families will save up to $1,750 for each dependent. Democrats are cutting child poverty by one-third with this rebate. You can claim the tax credit by filing a 2023 income tax return. The $1,750 credit is for each child 17 years old and younger, with no limit on the number of children.

Child Tax Credit (Gov. Graphic)

For all tax filers, this credit begins to phase out at an income level of $35,000 and fully phases out at a maximum of $90,750 for a family with four children. Minnesota families: If you qualify, file your taxes to make sure you claim the benefits available to you

Don’t forget to file by Monday if you haven’t already!


Stay Connected

A preview for next week - I’m incredibly excited that an entire bus full of our Moorhead Seniors will be coming down to the Capitol on Thursday! I can’t wait to host them for the day and show off our legislative process during what should be a very exciting time in session!

As we head into the final weeks of the legislative session, now is a great time to reach out with any questions, comments, or ideas you may have on our work to improve our community and state. You also always reach out to my office at or 651-296-5515. I look forward to hearing from you!

In community, 


Rep. Heather Keeler

Minnesota House of Representatives