Recently the House took a few days to be with family and friends, to catch our breath, and for some of us, to observe Passover, Easter, or Ramadan. I hope you and your families have had a joyous time.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been assembling our budget bills, and this week, we started the process of passing budget bills off the floor, including Environment and Climate, Veterans, State Government and Elections, Transportation, Housing, Legacy, Agriculture, Early Childhood, Children and Families, and Higher Education. To say we’ve been busy is an understatement! As we continue this process, I will update you on the progress!
Here’s an update from Saint Paul.
This session, the House has passed several protections for our LGBTQIA2S+ community, including HF 146, the Trans Refuge Bill, which protects the right to seek and receive gender-affirming health care.
This important life-saving bill ensures access to life-saving healthcare for all families in the state of Minnesota, including age-appropriate, gender-affirming care. This health care is founded on sound research, science, and results in overwhelmingly positive outcomes. Minnesotans trust each other to make these decisions with their families and health care providers. I was proud to vote yes on this legislation with my DFL colleagues.
On March 31st, the Minnesota House Queer Caucus joined Outfront Minnesota, Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, and advocates to celebrate “Trans Day of Visibility” to raise awareness about and celebrate transgender people. It is a day to uplift the lives and contributions of trans people, while also drawing attention to the poverty, discrimination, and violence the trans community faces.
Thank you to all who have been visiting the Capitol to advocate for people-centered legislation. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting with some Cub Scouts. It was so much fun showing them around the Capitol!
Each year, Minnesotans enrolled in Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare must have their eligibility reviewed to verify they still qualify for coverage. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this renewal process was paused, and Minnesotans enrolled in these programs maintained continuous healthcare coverage. This spring, when the federal health emergency ends, the standard renewal process will resume.
If you are among the 1.5 million Minnesotans who rely on Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare, make sure your current contact information is on file, especially if you’ve moved in the last three years. Visit mn.gov/dhs/mycontactinfo or call (800) 657-3672 to update your address, phone number, and email address. Also, be on the lookout for official information and instructions about how to renew your coverage, and be prepared with some documentation when it’s time to renew. Learn more at mn.gov/dhs/renewmycoverage.
House DFLers are committed to ensuring all eligible Minnesotans retain their public coverage when renewals restart while connecting those ineligible with other coverage options. Last month, lawmakers approved and Governor Walz signed into law a bill to ease this “unwinding” by investing resources for counties to process renewals, support for MNsure navigators, and making MinnesotaCare available with no premiums through June 30, 2024.
As the weather continues to warm up and the snow starts to melt, I wanted to share that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced its free park days for 2023! All entrance and vehicle permit fees will be waived on:
Our state parks showcase the best Minnesota has to offer, including hiking, biking, camping, swimming, skiing, birding, and more. I hope you will take the opportunity to get out and enjoy our state parks this year.
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.