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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kaela Berg (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 6, 2023

Monday, February 6, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

We have had a few productive weeks in the House. I’m thankful for my colleagues who continue to work together to build policies that will improve the lives of all Minnesotans. 

Our Progress!

We’ve passed HF1, the Protecting Reproductive Options Act! This bill enshrines the fundamental right to reproductive health care in law. The Senate passed the bill last Friday evening, and Governor Walz has signed it into law. I was proud to vote for this bill and thank my DFL colleagues for their support for one of Minnesotans’ top priorities. 

The 100% Clean Electricity by 2040 bill passed the House last week. This is a landmark initiative to move our state toward net-zero carbon emissions, but only one piece of the puzzle. This legislation would require that the state’s utilities use entirely carbon-free sources for electricity production by 2040, putting us on track with over 20 other states that have also adopted similar goals.

Here I am with some students from the South Metro advocating 100% clean energy.

Last week, we passed the Driver’s Licenses for All bill, allowing our undocumented neighbors to obtain a driver’s license. This bill is important for the safety of all drivers on our roads, and I’m happy to have voted for it. We have seen a broad coalition from law enforcement to labor coming out in support of this bill and returning our driving privileges to pre-2003 standards, when no matter your immigration status, you could learn to drive safely. This is another overdue bill that I’m pleased we have taken swift action to pass.

Last Thursday, we passed two major bills. The first bill makes Juneteenth a state holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the liberation of African American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. By learning from our past we can better address the harmful racial disparities of the present and build a state that is more inclusive and more just. Passing this bill alone will not rectify racial disparities and anti-Blackness in our nation. That’s why members of the Minnesota House DFL Majority are committed to investing in Black communities so Black Minnesotans have opportunities to succeed and thrive.

Second, last night we passed the “Restore the Vote” bill, allowing formerly incarcerated citizens the right to vote. Voting is a cornerstone of a healthy democracy, and it ensures that citizens have a voice in decisions that impact their lives. Twenty-one states automatically restore voting rights after incarceration ends, including Red States like North Dakota and Blue States like Illinois. 

Restoring voting rights is an equity issue and a racial justice issue. Black Minnesotans account for 20% of those ineligible to vote, but make up just 4% of the state’s voting-age population. Indigenous Minnesotans are less than 1% of the voting-age population but are almost 7% of those ineligible to vote. Hispanic Minnesotans are 2.5% of the voting-age population but 6% of those with voting rights withheld.

My Bills

HF 203 was the first bill I presented this session. It’s a great bill that funds the Minnesota Association of Alternative Programs for the STARS program which gives students the opportunity to develop leadership skills, fulfill academic and social goals, and make informed career decisions. My own son needed help from these programs to succeed. Please listen to MAAP STARS student, Camerohn Cox, testimony here to understand how impactful these programs are in our state.

HF 8 is a top priority for our caucus this session. This bill allocates ongoing, sustainable funding for mental health and other supports in schools across Minnesota. Our kids often come to school with unseen trauma, and we know that they can’t learn while they’re struggling. Minnesota needs 6,000 more student support personnel to achieve the recommended amount of support staff in our schools and to be on par with other states.  I am so grateful for the coalition we built around HF 8 and for the heartfelt support of my colleagues as we work to ensure our kids are healthy, that they feel and are safe, and have the opportunity to thrive.

Stay in Touch

If you have questions, ideas, or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at or call (651) 296-5387. For more regular updates, you can subscribe to these regular legislative updates if you haven’t already, here, and you can also “like” and follow my official State Representative Facebook page.


Kaela Berg

State Representative