This week, Governor Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced they have reached an agreement on key budget decisions, taking a major step toward finalizing the two-year state budget. The agreed-upon budget framework includes historic investments for kids and families, the largest tax cut in state history, and funding to improve health and safety.
We have been listening to Minnesotans, and we are drawing on thousands of face-to-face conversations we've had with people at their doors, listening tours, and town hall meetings over the years. Whether it’s ensuring no child goes without breakfast and lunch in school, or providing some more economic security for families, this budget agreement puts Minnesotans first. This is a direct result of Minnesotans all over the state who entrusted the DFL with a government majority.
Here’s an update from Saint Paul.
In response to the growing number of legislative assaults by the right of those who seek gender-affirming healthcare, the House voted this week to prohibit any attempts of outside jurisdictions or entities from reaching into our state with their laws to take action on people who come to Minnesota to receive this critical care. Their legislation mirrors legislation being introduced across the country in a multistate effort to create states of refuge for those seeking this care.
These efforts will protect Minnesotans and they will send a strong message to the trans community that they are loved, supported, and protected here in our state.
Thank you to all of the advocates who have been pushing for people-centered legislation here at the capitol. I recently met with members of the Alzheimer’s Association in Minnesota to discuss how the legislature can address the projected rise of the disease in Minnesota. Alzheimer’s disease is a growing public health crisis in Minnesota, and I am committed to doing everything I can to combat it.
When private prisons are focused solely on increasing profits and cutting costs, what they sacrifice is safety, both for the inmates and the people who work there. Prison corporations put their profits ahead of public safety, and our criminal justice system deserves better.
This session, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed House File 1200, which would effectively ban private prisons in the state. A 2016 report by the Justice Department found, in general, private prisons provide fewer correctional services at greater security and safety risk to inmates and staff, without producing substantial savings.
Minnesota joins at least five other states that have passed legislation aiming to reduce, limit, or ban private prisons. President Biden issued an executive order in January 2021 to phase out the Justice Department’s use of private prisons, and Minnesota has not had any private prisons since the Prairie Correctional Facility in Appleton closed in 2010.
On Tuesday, the Biden Administration announced the Environmental Protection Agency will require utilities to remove PFAS from drinking water. It is estimated as many as 200 million Americans are currently exposed to PFAS chemicals through drinking water. The EPA regulation would include testing and filtering of six PFAS chemicals.
I’m incredibly thankful we will be seeing federal action on getting PFAS out of drinking water. Now, we need to take it a step further. It’s corporate greed that got us into this mess, and we need to turn off the faucet on PFAS in more than just water. These cancer-causing chemicals are found in products and packaging we use every single day, and they're actively harming our health, our families, and our future.
If you have any questions or feedback you’d like to share, you can contact me by email at email@example.com or call (651) 296-4128. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.