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

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Legislative Update - February 17, 2023

Friday, February 17, 2023
Kaela Berg Banner

Dear Neighbors,

We are making significant progress in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I’m thankful to our Burnsville neighbors for allowing me the opportunity to bring our values to the state legislature.

Our Progress

The House recently passed two bills to strengthen our criminal justice system. First, HF 29 will boost funding to address violent crime and provide counties with the ability to prosecute violent crime. In partnership with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, this bill would allow us to hire more prosecutors and expand the prospect of charging violent crimes. These offenses, including crimes like assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, human trafficking, sex trafficking, homicide, and more, are an assault on our communities and our society. 

The second bill, HF 90, funds our public defenders. Under the US and Minnesota Constitutions, we promise the right to due process. Criminal defendants are entitled to a state-appointed lawyer if they cannot afford one. Regrettably, The Office of Public Defense has longstanding budget shortfalls, which have meant overworked public defenders who cannot adequately defend the number of defendants they are assigned.

On Monday, we passed two bills to improve access to affordable child care and early learning centers. It is no secret child care is unaffordable for most Minnesotans. Some of our neighbors are spending as much as 40% of their income on this vital service. These votes expand our Child Care Assistance Program, making more Minnesotans eligible.

House DFL Plan for Child Care and Early Learning

Last week, we passed two bills to address the growing food insecurity in Minnesota. HF 5, the Universal School Meals bill will provide up to two meals per day at no cost to the student or their family. The second bill, HF 213, invests $5 million into our food shelf programs. In the last few years, the data shows more and more Minnesotans are seeking out food shelves or going hungry. I’m proud we took action to feed our state.

School Food

Lastly, we passed earned sick and safe time for all Minnesotans. This is essential for Minnesota’s working families. Many workers are still forced to make an impossible choice between earning a paycheck and taking time off to care for themselves or family members. The lack of access to paid time off when we are sick or unsafe at home disproportionately affects low-wage workers, women, and members of BIPOC communities. This bill will help ensure all workers can take the time they need. I was proud to vote yes for Minnesota’s working families.


Black History Month

February is Black History Month! Every day is a great day to celebrate the legacy and talents of our Black and African American communities in Minnesota. It’s a time to reflect on the history of our neighbors' ancestors and uplift their stories. I’m thankful for their contributions to our culture, economy, and society here in Minnesota, and I look forward to working with communities to create a more equitable Minnesota.


Stay In Touch

If you have questions, ideas, or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 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