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

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Legislative Update - March 14, 2024

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Dear neighbors,

I hope you are having a nice Spring! It’s been another busy week at the State Capitol as we continue to debate legislation, hear from constituents, and discuss how we can continue to make life more affordable for Minnesotans as we tackle the biggest issues facing our state. 

Here’s the latest from St. Paul:

Unemployment Insurance for Striking Workers

This week, I unveiled legislation which would expand Unemployment Insurance eligibility to include some workers while on strike. As a proud rank and file union member myself, I know that unions provide workers with a strong voice in the workplace. When workers come to the table to bargain in good faith for not just their own wages, benefits and safety, but for the good of their families, their communities and future workers in their industries, it helps the entire economy.

HF 3446 is nation-leading legislation that will grant striking workers the same access to their unemployment benefits as any other worker, which already includes locked-out workers. Like other workers, striking workers would need to observe the same non-payable week, meaning that only those uncommon strikes lasting more than a week will result in any UI benefits being paid to striking workers.

This legislation comes on the heels of a new report that found in 2023 there were 451 strikes nationwide, compared to 414 in 2022 and 270 in 2021. The report also showed the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio is now 344:1, compared to 21:1 in 1965. By allowing Minnesotan workers who are striking to access Unemployment Insurance, this bill will create a more level playing field between corporations and workers.

House Approves 101 Environmental Projects

Minnesotans take pride in our legacy of environmental stewardship. That’s why DFLers passed legislation to fund 101 projects across our state that protect our wildlife, water, air, and soil. 

The funding, which comes from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, uses a portion of our state lottery proceeds to ensure our environment and natural resources are protected for generations to come.

You can browse ENRTF projects here.

High Demand of Universal School Meals Prompts Legislation to Meet Need

Participation in the universal school meals program has surpassed the initially anticipated increase by more than 20% across the state. To ensure we’re meeting the need and filling this gap, House DFLers approved legislation to continue these investments so no child goes hungry at school.

MPR had a great story about the program that you can read here.

Federal Assistance for Small Businesses Affected by Warm Winter

Our “winter” this year has been unseasonably warm. While many of us have enjoyed foregoing winter jackets this year, the low precipitation we’ve experienced this winter has had a real economic impact on small businesses that rely on snow and winter tourism. Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available due to the ongoing federal drought declarations affecting 81 Minnesota counties. Small business owners should apply here for assistance as soon as possible.

Stay In Touch

If you have questions, ideas, or feedback 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