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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Athena Hollins (DFL)

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Legislative Update: Town Hall on Saturday, Gun Violence Prevention, End of Session

Thursday, June 9, 2022



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Dear Neighbors,

We ended the 2022 Legislative Session and adjourned on May 23rd as required by the Minnesota Constitution. Lawmakers worked around the clock to resolve our differences and craft bills that can pass in both the House and Senate and be signed into law by Governor Walz. In the end, no one will get everything they want, but that’s how compromise works. 

Earlier in May, Speaker Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Miller, and Governor Walz signed an agreement on a budget framework for the end of session: $4 billion in tax cuts; $4 billion in investments; and $4 billion on the bottom line, in case of a future economic downturn.

After a tax deal was negotiated and finalized, ready for passage, the Senate went back on their word to live up to the overall budget framework. Regardless of your politics, when you give someone your word and sign an agreement, you should honor that agreement. 

That's why it’s so disappointing to see the Senate majority walk away from delivering what our state needs now more than ever: strong and stable schools, lower health care costs, mental health access, better public safety, additional strategies to combat climate change, and more.

There are several things that need to be done and can still be done with a special session. The agreement on a tax bill would result in the largest tax cut in state history – almost $4 billion over three years. It includes significant refunds and credits for homeowners and renters and also includes a complete exemption of all Social Security income from state income taxation.

In addition, we need to fund student mental health, special education, and literacy programs. Both the House and Senate agreed to spend $1 billion on health care. Senate Republicans need to come back to the table so we can settle on how much of that to devote to pay raises for workers in long-term care, group home employees, and personal care assistants.

Minnesotans expect a functioning state government. We need Senate Republicans to come back to work to help ensure Minnesota seniors and families get more money back in their pockets at a time when it's needed most. I’m ready for a special session any day now.

Despite this end-of-session nightmare, we were able to get some provisions passed, including:

  • Giving bonuses to frontline workers who could not work from home.
  • Distributing funds to address the opioid crisis.
  • Making the largest investment in high-speed broadband internet in state history,
  • Funding public health infrastructure to keep people healthy and safe as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.
  • Protecting and supporting veterans and Gold Star families.
  • Replenishing funding for Minnesota’s Unemployment Insurance Program, keeping businesses’ unemployment insurance tax rates flat.
  • Extending the COVID-19 worker’s compensation presumption for first responders, including fire fighters, police officers, and paramedics.
  • Reducing the cost of health insurance for those who use the individual market.
  • Modernizing state liquor laws to support Minnesota’s breweries and distilleries.
  • Funding nation-leading ALS research.
  • Providing relief to farmers impacted by the 2021 drought and delivering resources to control and contain the avian influenza outbreak.

I hope to have more good news soon, after we have a special session.



Town Hall on Saturday

Please join Sen. Marty, Rep. Hausman and I for a virtual Town Hall this Saturday, June 11, at 10:30am. We look forward to answering your questions and talking about the recently concluded legislative session. I would love to hear your thoughts. You can register and submit questions in advance here. Please also take a moment to share the event with our community in the district.


Bonuses Apply Now

Apply for your Frontline Worker Bonus

From now until July 22, workers who were on the frontline of the pandemic can apply for a bonus of more than $750. The funds are not first come, first served and the money set aside for this program will be split equally among all approved applicants. Eligible workers have 45 days to apply. Spread the word to your friends and family who had to put themselves in harm’s way during this challenging time. Apply here.


Tragedy in Buffalo and Uvalde

The devastating news out of Buffalo is another example of the unrelenting trauma communities of color have experienced. There are no words to express the profound grief and pain with ten people brutally killed, three people injured, and a surrounding community forever changed, all motivated by senseless hate. As reports continue to come out, it is alleged that the suspect published a 180-page document that repeats a series of white supremacist ideologies and racist conspiracy theories referred to as the “Great Replacement” as justification for a premeditated plan to search out Black people and murder them.  My colleague, Representative Cedrick Frazier spoke on this issue, which you can watch here.

We all need to be stepping forward together to condemn white supremacy everywhere. Please take some time to listen to him.

In Uvalde, Texas there was a horrific school shooting of 19 children and 2 teachers. This is the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history. My heart goes out to the families affected by this tragedy. We must work swiftly together now to save more lives. 

In 2020, the Minnesota House passed common-sense background checks and red flag laws. The Senate did nothing.  We need gun reform now. Our public safety chair, Rep. Carlos Mariani, spoke to this at a press conference.


Free State Park Day

Free Admission to State Parks on Saturday

Minnesotans can visit state parks and recreation areas for free on Saturday, June 11! If you’d like to take advantage of this opportunity, check out the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ ParkFinder tool. It has information about all 75 state parks and can help you find places with certain kinds of trails or facilities. 


COVID-19 Update

Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order a third round of free at-home COVID-19 tests. Click here to place your order.  You can also call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489).  Also, a reminder Americans over 50 and those 12 years and older who are immunocompromised can receive a second COVID-19 booster shot. More COVID-19 updates are available through the Minnesota Department of Health website, or the U of M Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).


Staying Connected

You can watch legislative sessions and committee hearings by going to this link on the Minnesota House of Representatives website.

 The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services also offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here.

I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can email me at

Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.