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

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Legislative Update 04.25.2023

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Dear Neighbors,   

The past couple weeks have been a success! We passed our budget proposals in the following areas: Higher EducationLegacyEnvironment and Clean EnergyHousingVeteransElections, State and Local GovernmentK-12 EducationAgricultureTransportation, and Early Childhood.   

Rep. Olson and Rep. Hollins speaking on House Floor

These are all great bills, and I’d like to highlight a few for you, starting with a K-12 Education budget proposal. All Minnesota students deserve a world-class education. House DFLers deliver on this promise with historic new investments in education while also ensuring stable funding in the future by tying formula increases to inflation. 

Included in our K-12 Education budget is my proposal to invest $25 million for high quality after-school programs, focusing primarily on underserved communities and providing opportunities for academic enrichment. Other notable highlights of our budget include the following:

K-12 fact sheet

Environment, Natural Resources, Climate, and Energy Budget

As Minnesotans, we care about protecting our environment and our climate. We value our land, air, water, and wildlife, and know we must address threats and prevent pollution. We know that as one of the fastest-warming states in the nation, we must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address and combat climate change.

That’s why we passed the 2023 Environment, Natural Resources, Climate and Energy Budget Bill, which addresses current environmental threats and invests in a clean future. We are devoting over $670 million to preserving our natural resources, protecting Minnesotans from dangerous chemicals, and supporting our state’s wildlife. By investing $348 million to lower energy costs, create clean-energy jobs, and keep Minnesota a renewable energy leader, we are putting our state on the path to net-zero emissions by 2050 and creating a brighter future for all Minnesotans.

Here is a highlight of my bills that are included in this bill package:

Zero Waste Grants (HF 2693)

This bill would create a zero-waste grant that encourages small businesses and others to reduce their production of waste.  It would help Tribes, local units of government, nonprofit organizations, and small businesses to develop strategies and purchase infrastructure for source reduction and recycling, and to develop markets for reused and repurposed products.

Electrical Panel Upgrade Grants (HF 849)

To help more Minnesotans transition to cleaner electric appliances and electric vehicles this bill appropriates funds for a grant program to upgrade residential electrical panels in single-family and multifamily homes. Panels in single-family homes must be upgraded to a 200-ampere capacity.

Storage Policy Updates (HF 1386)

Updates Minnesota’s energy storage laws including establishing a statewide capacity target of 3,000 megawatts to be deployed by the end of 2033, helping us store solar and wind energy and lower costs for Minnesotans.

Intervenor Compensation (HF 2439)

This bill establishes a framework for community groups, nonprofits, tribes, and Minnesota residents to be compensated for providing useful contributions to a determination made by the PUC. The bill also sets limits for compensation based on the utility’s size. 

Climate and Energy Fact Sheet
Environment and Natural Resources Fact Sheet

I am glad to announce I have been appointed to the “conference committee” for this bill and will work with my House and Senate colleagues to create a final bill that protects our climate and our communities.


Our Housing Budget

Another important budget proposal we passed this week would invest in Housing throughout the state.

Housing Facts

This budget makes our state’s most significant commitment to end family and child homelessness through the creation of state-based rental vouchers. This innovative form of housing assistance will create housing stability for 7,000 low-income Minnesota families all across the state.

In addition, we’re pursuing the state’s most ambitious agenda yet to create pathways to homeownership and address our state’s racial home ownership gap. The bill includes a new first generation down payment assistance program that will create 4,000 new homeowners.


State of the State

We paused our work for a brief moment last Wednesday to join with guests and our Senate colleagues to attend Governor Walz’s fifth State of the State Address, which you can watch here.

I applaud Governor Walz, and his commitment to working with us to ensure Minnesota is a great state for everyone - regardless of where they come from or what they look like. This is in stark contrast to some of the news we’ve seen coming out of other states, including our neighbors, but it’s crucial Minnesota remains a place where everyone can achieve the American Dream.

State of the State Graphic

Senate Passage of Conversion Therapy Ban

Last Friday, the Minnesota Senate passed legislation prohibiting the barbaric practice of “conversion therapy” in Minnesota. The legislation bans the practice by licensed practitioners for those under 18 and vulnerable, prevent fraudulent or deceptive advertising practices on the effectiveness of conversion therapy, and prohibits conversion therapy from being offered under medical assistance coverage.

I also to thank former House Representative Hunter Cantrell for carrying this bill in the past and handing me the baton. Thank you, Senator Dibble and our DFLers for finally outlawing this inhumane practice. Minnesotans deserve to live their lives fully and authentically.

Conversion Therapy Ban Passes Senate

2023 Legacy Budget Bill

In 2008, Minnesota’s voters passed the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment because all of us want our state to be a great place to live, work, and play. This week, House DFLers passed legislation investing over $820 million to continue the important work of restoring, enhancing, and protecting Minnesota’s most treasured spaces and places and increasing access for all.

With investments in our outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and cultural heritage, the 2023 Legacy Budget Bill will make our state a better place to live for current and future generations, including by expanding free parks days and arts and cultural education programs. DFLers are expanding opportunities so all communities can access Legacy funding.

Legacy Fact Sheet

House Higher Ed Budget Proposal

Last week, we passed our proposed Higher Education budget. With declining enrollment across higher education, we’re providing a record increase in investment for Minnesota’s colleges and universities. Our budget prioritizes a higher education system that is accessible, affordable, and effectively building the skilled workforce Minnesota deserves.

Whether it’s a tuition freeze across the Minnesota State system, addressing the U of M’s funding shortfall, investing in our tribal colleges, or ensuring today’s students are prepared for tomorrow’s jobs, our Higher Education budget is a crucial component in making Minnesota an Education State.

Higher Ed

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime if you need assistance or have questions at or 651-296-4224. You can also follow my official Facebook page.

In community,

Rep. Athena Hollins
Minnesota House of Representatives

Legislative Assistant:

Abdullahi Abdullahi