Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

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

Back to profile

Legislative Update 05.11.2023

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Dear Neighbors,  

Last week, the Minnesota House passed House File 2, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. This legislation has been in the works for nearly a decade, and now is the time to deliver on our promise to Minnesotans. Too often, many workers in our state face the impossible choice of either going to work to earn a paycheck or staying home to take care of themselves or a sick family member. 

While some workers have jobs that provide paid sick leave, thousands of Minnesotans do not have access to a single paid day off. Additionally, those in the lowest wage positions and our BIPOC community members face stark disparities. I am proud to be a co-author on this bill and to vote ‘yes’ to ensure every Minnesotan is protected by a safety net that uplifts humanity.  

Legislative Updates:  

Conference Committees are committees made up of members from the House and Senate appointed to reconcile the differences between two versions of a budget bill. This is an important time to collaborate with our colleagues and make comprehensive decisions to ensure the bill is reflective and responsive to our communities. These negotiations are critical to moving forward the vision and values of Minnesotans. 

I am proud to be on this bipartisan team to legalize cannabis, expunge records, and advance economic justice in a regulated market.  

Follow the Omnibus cannabis bill here: 

I am also serving on the Environment, Natural Resources, Climate, and Energy Conference Committee.  

Legacy Budget Conference Committee Report 

Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the conference committee report on H.F. 1999, the Legacy Budget Bill. The bill invests over $818 million dollars in Minnesota’s outdoor heritage, clean water, parks and trails, and arts and culture. The conference committee report passed on a vote of 101-31. The bill also includes significant policy provisions to serve communities who have historically been underrepresented in Legacy fund recipients, with specific appropriations for BIPOC museums and community organizations. The bill fully funds Minnesota’s Tribal nations’ requests to help preserve their language and culture. For the first time, this bill includes funding specifically dedicated to smaller organizations, funding for the arts community as they facilitate healing and recovery, and language including LGBTQIA+ Minnesotans in our arts and cultural heritage fund and outdoor youth outreach programs. 

Higher Education Budget Conference Committee Report 

Yesterday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the conference committee report on House File 2073, the state’s Higher Education Budget. With declining enrollment across higher education, the report provides a record increase in investment for Minnesota’s colleges and universities. The conference committee report passed on a vote of 69-62. The Higher Education budget for 2024-2025 funds the Office of Higher Education, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, the University of Minnesota campuses, the Mayo Clinic Medical School, and Tribal Colleges. Notably, the budget provides free college to students with household incomes under $80,000. 

House Approves Agriculture Budget Bill 

Hats off to the Agriculture Chair, Rep. Samantha Vang! Minnesota House approved the Agriculture budget bill, funding $48 million in new investments for farmers, land, and food production in Minnesota. The bill includes a grain indemnity fund for farmers, provisions to increase food access, and protections for soil health. The final vote was 70 to 58. The bill provides funding for the Good Food Access Program, hunger relief grant funding for Second Harvest Heartland, increases funding for farm-to-school programs, and more, ensuring no Minnesotan goes without quality food. 

Emerging farmers – especially those from BIPOC communities – face significant barriers when working to succeed in agriculture and food-related businesses. This bill makes historic investments to support emerging farmers in land access and lowering start-up costs in farming. 

Our Three Newest Laws 

Governor Walz signed three bills into law, all of them making Minnesota a more welcoming, science-following, rights-protecting state. We banned conversion therapy, protected access to abortion, and did the same for gender-affirming care by making Minnesota a safe state for trans refuge. These vital new laws loudly proclaim Minnesota will take you, as you are, with open arms.  

The Queer Caucus will continue to do everything in our power to protect our two-spirit, non-binary, enby, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community so they can live openly without discrimination and embrace their human rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association. In Minnesota, we want you to live without any shame or doubt that you are respected, loved, and protected. Hate has no home here, you belong here. 

You can read more about these new laws here


Minnesota’s Largest Tax Cut 

Collectively, the bill delivers the largest tax cut in state history with credits, rebates, and other provisions designed to maximize benefits for workers, families, and seniors. It also addresses years of rising property taxes and underinvestment in local communities. The House DFL tax bill reforms our tax code to improve fairness and equity across the board. Between 2018 and 2021, the adjusted gross income of filers of those earning less than $20,000 annually fell by 9% while the AGI of filers over $500k grew 117%. Minnesotans expect those who profited most during the pandemic to pay their fair share. With a worldwide reporting requirement for multinational corporations hiding income in offshore tax havens and a millionaire tax on the top 0.8% of all earners, we will have the necessary revenue to invest in children, families, homeowners, seniors, and the most vulnerable Minnesotans now and in the future. 

Inserting image...

In the Community 

Saint Paul Climate Dashboard 

The City of Saint Paul is determined to fight climate change in an equitable and inclusive manner. The Saint Paul Climate Dashboard was created to showcase the comprehensive and inclusive efforts being undertaken by the city and its partners. It's a powerful example of how local action can make a global impact.  

Learn more here.  

AAPI Heritage Month  

Happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese community to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. 

During this wonderful month, we wish our AAPI communities a joyous gathering to celebrate achievements and milestones. May you indulge in songs, food, ritual, and stories with your families and loved ones.  

Let us also strive to find humanity in each other as we uplift and celebrate the cultures and traditions of our AAPI community.  

Learn more on AAPI Heritage Month: 

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) 

It was an honor to share space with our Indigenous relatives for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) event. This movement seeks to draw attention to the high rates of disappearances and murders of Native people, particularly women, and girls. We must work together as a community to keep this movement that advocates, families, and relatives have been doing for decades to end violence against Native women. 

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