Soon, House Committees are expected to receive their budget targets. This helps committee chairs shape the omnibus bills, and it means I will be working overtime to ensure the priorities of Savage and Burnsville are included in these omnibus packages. Please stay in touch and let me know if there are any priorities you wish to see passed into law. I always enjoy hearing my constituents' questions and input on our work here in St. Paul.
Here’s an update from the Capitol.
The Minnesota House unanimously passed the Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, protecting Indigenous children and ensuring they continue to have a lifeline to their culture. There’s a dark, ugly history of separating children from their tribal nations, and this legislation is an important part of having honest, educational conversations about the experiences of Indigenous people. The erasure of Indigenous people and Tribal Nations isn’t only in our past; it is firmly in our present. I was really moved by the powerful floor speeches from several of my colleagues. You can read more about this bill, which is now on its way to Governor Walz’s desk, here.
On Thursday, the House invested $50 million in Emergency Rental Assistance. Bold, long-term investments are needed to fully address Minnesota’s housing crisis, but there’s also work we can and must do now to help those who are struggling. All Minnesotans deserve a roof over their heads, and this is support that can’t wait until the end of the legislative session.
I have introduced House File 1040, which increases the social security income caps to help some of those struggling at the margins of our economy. Minnesota currently allows a subtraction for a portion of a taxpayer’s Social Security benefits subject to federal tax. This legislation fully exempts Social Security benefits from state taxation for Minnesotans with adjusted gross income below $80,000 (for married joint returns) or $62,500 (for single or head of household returns). The subtraction would be phased down based on adjusted gross income instead of provisional income, as well as holding harmless anyone who currently isn’t impacted by a change.
Minnesotans believe we should have an equitable economy across the board. With that said, I believe those on fixed incomes including seniors, on the margins of our economy, need our help to address the rising costs of housing, food, and more. This bill stands strong in our values to help those in need while avoiding tax cuts for the richest Minnesotans who have told us loud and clear they don’t need it.
In Minnesota, caring for each other is a cornerstone of our values. Yet, many of our neighbors are dying by suicide each year. Last year, the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline changed its phone number to 988. This number connects us to peer specialists who are trained on what to say, what to do, and who to call when we are in crisis. However, the demand for this lifesaving service is not being met. You can read more about our initiative to fund 988 here.
Recently, we had Mental Health Day on the Hill. It was great to connect with providers and patients and hear their stories. I am pushing forward several bills such as House File 1198, to revolutionize Minnesota’s child mental health care system, and as mentioned above funding the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline, House Fille 1566. Our mental health system has always been lacking but has come into the public conscience in recent years. I’m glad to be leading on these issues affecting every Minnesotan.
It was great to see nurses from Savage and Burnsville at the Capitol to testify on the nurse staffing crisis and in support of The Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act. When our nurses are understaffed and overworked, patients have worse outcomes overall. I’m proud to support our nurses for the phenomenal work they do for us in some of our most vulnerable moments.
Stay in Touch
If you have questions, ideas, or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at email@example.com or call (651) 296-4212. 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.