I hope this finds you well and enjoying the gorgeous weather we’ve been having.
We adjourned the legislative session on Monday evening. As I round out my first session as your state representative, I want to thank you for the honor of lifting up our communities' voices in St. Paul.
After years of gridlock under divided government, it was refreshing to be a part of the team working hard to deliver and get things done for Minnesota. The budget we passed is rooted in the values we share with our families, friends, neighbors, and communities.
Working together with our neighbors, I was able to secure:
$22million to renovate the aging Technology and Business Center building at Inver Hills Community College, including the construction of a link to Heritage Hall.
$6million investment to equip a 16-bed facility in Dakota County to provide acute stabilization and treatment for persons with a primary or secondary mental health diagnosis in lieu of inpatient psychiatric hospitalization.
$5million for the reconstruction of 117th Street from Rich Valley Boulevard (Dakota County Road 71) east of Highway 52 to improve safety, ease congestion and traffic conditions.
$2 million in funds to the city of Inver Grove Heights to build an inclusive accessible play structure for children.
$5 million in funding for a Veterans Memorial Greenway within the trail corridor between Lebanon Hills Regional Park and the Mississippi River.
$2 million for Thompson County Park Master Plan improvements, which may include a land bridge over Highway 52, a pollinator promenade, a sensory garden, restoration of historical stream corridor, farmstead interpretation, Dakota Lodge renovations, and more.
The bill increases the general funding formula by 4% next year and 2% the year after and ties the funding to inflation, ensuring Minnesota schools have the resources to provide a world-class education for years to come. The bill establishes 5,200 new Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Seats, decreases the Special Education Cross Subsidy by 50%, and provides unemployment insurance for hourly school workers. The bill also provides funding for schools to hire mental health professionals and counselors and improves resources for American Indian students.
Here’s the breakdown of how our students will fare:
Inver Grove Heights ISD #199: $898 per pupil in 2024 and $1,133 per pupil in 2025
Rosemount Apple Valley Eagan ISD #196: $808 per pupil in 2024 and $997 per pupil in 2025
West St. Paul -Mendota Heights-Eagan ISD #197: $1,012 per pupil in 2024 $1194 per pupil in 2025
Taking Care of our Veterans
Memorial Day is coming up and I’d like to take a moment to share how we put our gratitude into action for those who have bravely served our country. HF 1937, the Veterans & Military Affairs budget funds operations of the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Military Affairs, while including initiatives to support Minnesota veterans. We also expanded eligibility for veteran bonuses to include veterans who reside in our state now but were not Minnesota residents at the time they entered service.
The final veterans budget included my bill to expand PTSD care for veterans and their spouses. We’re also delivering funding for the homeless veterans’ registry and other tools to help veterans’ assistance, and funding for the Minnesota Military and Veterans Museum. Meals on Wheels will now be offered specifically for veterans who are struggling but would not normally qualify for the program. Also included is funding for Honor Guards, the Minnesota GI Bill, the Gold Star Program, County Veterans Service Office, and programs to support veterans.
It was an honor to serve on the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I’m proud our budget passed unanimously in the House, and I’m looking forward to continuing the work in the interim and next session.
Keep in Touch
Although we’ve adjourned for the year, the work continues! Stay tuned for updates about town hall meetings and community coffee gatherings. I’d love to hear from you. Please contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-3533.
Mary Frances Clardy State Representative
Representative Mary Frances Clardy
529 State Office Building 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155