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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura (DFL)

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Legislative Update: May 2, 2024

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Dear Neighbors,

As we enter the final stretch of the 2024 legislative session, I'm proud of the progress we've made together, building a stronger Minnesota for working families. We're committed to securing fair wages, affordable healthcare, and investments that empower our communities.  

Keeping you informed: Here are some recent developments from the capitol.


Passing Gun Safety Legislation

Lost and stolen guns are often used in crimes, or end up in the hands of those who may cause harm to themselves or others. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, roughly 266,000 guns were stolen across the U.S. per year from 2017-2021. Of these, only 3% were stolen from federally licensed gun dealers, while 95% were stolen from private citizens, equivalent to one every two minutes, and a quarter are never reported to law enforcement.

This week we passed legislation to help prevent gun trafficking, assist in recovering lost or stolen guns, make firearm owners more accountable for their weapons, and give our law enforcement another tool to help keep our communities safe and free of gun violence by requiring lost or stolen firearms to be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours after they are known to be lost.

All Minnesotans deserve to be safe in their communities, and this legislation is a step in the right direction. I was proud to vote yes.

Education Bill Passes House 

This week the House also passed our Education Finance bill. Minnesotans want to make sure our schools have the funding to meet their students' needs, and that’s why we are continuing the investment in our public schools that we made last year. Once again we are investing in the Read Act, putting more teachers in our schools, keeping more students in our classrooms, and making sure our students have a seat at the decision-making table.

Included in this bill are several provisions I authored, including funding for the creation of a pilot program to help districts develop and implement strategies to improve the problems we are seeing across the state related to student attendance. Our own school district of Minneapolis will facilitate meetings with other school districts and advise as needed. Our message to Minnesota students is clear: we want you back in schools and we will do the work to help you get there.


MVP Metro Listening Session

There will be a May 4th Metro Minnesota Values Project Listening Session at the St. Anthony Public Library in the Auditorium from 10:30 am - 12 pm.

No matter where we come from, what we look like, or what we do for a living, all Minnesotans want to build a better state for ourselves and our families. Please join lawmakers from around the metro and suburbs for an opportunity to share your values and tell them what’s important to you. All are invited to participate!


FAFSA Information

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is an important tool to help students find financial assistance. Not only do students fill out the FAFSA to apply for federal aid for postsecondary education, but also to be considered for aid by states, institutions, and private funders. It is not too late to file the 2024-2025 FAFSA or the Minnesota Dream Act Application to receive financial aid for the 2024-2025 academic year. There are many financial aid opportunities at the federal, state and school level to help pay for college or trade school this fall. The Office of Higher Education (OHE) Financial Aid staff can assist with general application or process questions. Students can contact 651-642-0567 (Option 2) if they have questions. The line is answered Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Students and families may also watch the recordings of the Ready, Set, FAFSA! Webinar series offered by OHE earlier this year. The series was created specifically for students and families to help them prepare for the college-going process.

Local Plant Growers Directory

It’s spring time and many of us are getting our gardens ready! Minnesota Grown’s Local Plant Growers Directory connects local growers to anyone wanting to purchase or get advice on a multitude of plants, from colorfully blooming annuals and perennials, native plants that attract pollinators and support a healthy ecosystem, or planting a delicious array of vegetables, fruits, and herbs. It also includes resources to find the perfect local compost and soil amendments to create a thriving garden.

Minnesota Housing’s First-Generation Homebuyer Loan Program

Minnesota Housing's First-Generation Homebuyer Loan Program is a downpayment and closing cost loan for first-generation homebuyers. The program is expected to launch in May 2024. It is a deferred, interest-free, and forgivable loan. First-generation homebuyers may qualify if they and their parent(s) or legal guardian(s) have never owned their primary residence (in any country) or owned a home but lost it due to foreclosure. First-generation homebuyers who do not know if their parent or legal guardian owned a home or lost it due to foreclosure may still be eligible for the loan program.

Visit Minnesota Housing’s Get Ready for Homeownership Webpage to learn how to take a homebuyer education class, speak with a homeownership advisor, and find a lender and learn more about the program. To prepare for the launch, check out:

Minnesota Housing's First-Generation Homebuyer Loan Program is different from the First-Generation Homebuyers Community Down Payment Assistance Fund. Borrowers cannot combine Minnesota Housing’s First-Generation Homebuyer Loan with the First-Generation Homebuyers Community Down Payment Assistance Fund. The goal of both programs is to help more first-generation homebuyers access homeownership.

Join the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans!

The Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans (CAPM) is seeking interested applicants for appointment. The Council’s mission is to work toward economic, social, legal, and political equity for Minnesotans of Asian and Pacific Islander (API) heritage.

Currently, CAPM has vacancies for 4 seats, including the representatives with Asian Indian Ancestry, Hmong Ancestry, and Vietnamese Ancestry. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit an application (resume and cover letter) through the Secretary of State’s website.

RFP: Minnesota Drug Overdose Prevention Grant Program Due May 17

MDH is seeking proposals for the grant period June 30, 2024 – May 31, 2028. The department will award up to approximately $500,000 annually. This grant opportunity aims to reduce overdose deaths and enhance overdose prevention efforts. For a list of eligible applicants and activities, visit the MDH website.

More information on the grant and eligibility can be found on the Department of Health’s Drug Overdose Prevention Grant Program reference guide.

Promise Act Info Session- May 4th






Alongside other South Minneapolis elected officials from the city and the state, my office will be hosting an info session about the MN Promise Act grants and loans aimed at helping disadvantaged businesses reach their full potential. Funding was approved by the Minnesota State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Tim Walz during the 2023 legislative session and is overseen by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED).. This program, through a few CDFI statewide partner organizations, will offer access to grants and loans to eligible businesses in specific communities.

The MN Promise Act is focused on distributing grants and loans to support the growth and repositioning of Minnesota small businesses who are located, or who operate in neighborhoods / communities adversely affected by: 

  • Structural racial discrimination
  • Civil unrest
  • Lack of access to capital
  • A loss of population
  • An aging population
  • A lack of regional economic diversification

Specific neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Saint Paul and greater-Minnesota have been selected as eligible for this funding based on the above criteria by MN DEED in partnership with community organizations.

Click here to see eligible Minneapolis - Saint Paul neighborhoods.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime if you need assistance or have questions at or 651-297-7087. You can also follow my Facebook page

In community,

Rep. Samantha Sencer-Mura

Minnesota House of Representatives