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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (DFL)

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State Reps. Mary Frances Clardy & Bianca Virnig Secure $400,000 in Regional Investments for K-12 students

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – On Friday, May 17th, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed HF 3911, the 2024 Environment and Natural Resources Budget and Policy bill, as amended by the conference committee report. The bill contains $400,000 in investments to update local area schools’ playground infrastructure. Rep. Mary Frances Clardy (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and Rep. Bianca Virnig (DFL-Eagan) authored the provisions to deliver $100,000 to each of the following school districts: 


  • Independent School District No. 196, Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan, for a playground at Deerwood Elementary School;
  • Independent School District No. 197, West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan, for a playground at Somerset Elementary School;
  • Independent School District No. 199, Inver Grove Heights, for a playground at Hilltop Elementary School; and
  • Independent School District No. 625, St. Paul, for an autism sensory-friendly playground at Txuj Ci Hmong Language and Culture, Lower Campus.


“All kids deserve a fun and safe play structure at school,” said Rep. Clardy, Vice Chair of the House Education Finance Committee. “Playgrounds at school should be accessible to all children, and these funds will help foster a more inclusive environment- especially for students with disabilities.”

“I’m incredibly excited to see this investment secured for our community,” said Rep. Virnig. “Access to accessible spaces like playgrounds is something all communities and kids deserve, and I’m proud to bring this investment home to our district alongside Rep. Clardy.” 

School districts receiving grant funding must use the investments to replace, repair, expand, or install playground equipment; create accessible routes to the playground equipment; or install unitary surface material to expand accessibility.