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

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Leigh Finke (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative Update 05.03.2024

Friday, May 3, 2024

Dear Neighbors,  

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

There is still a great deal of work ahead of us, but together, we have a significant responsibility to empower Minnesotans with the resources they need to thrive. I'm committed to working tirelessly alongside my colleagues to deliver these important results. Below is a list of bills that have been introduced to the floor before we head into conference committees and work out final versions before the end of session. 


House Floor Action 

This week, the Minnesota House passed a critical measure I championed within the Children and Families supplemental budget bill. The amendment I authored directs the Department of Human Services (DHS) to partner with the Propel to conduct a comprehensive needs analysis for emergency shelter services specifically serving LGBTQIA+ community members.  

In addition to this, the House continued to debate and pass supplemental budget and policy bills on the floor, covering important issues such as education, labor, housing, the environment, and more. Our work this year builds on last year’s historic successes and works to improve the lives of working and middle-class Minnesotans. Recently, the House has passed:  

A broadly bipartisan bill investing $240 million in our outdoors, clean water, parks and trails, and cultural heritage from the Legacy Amendment fund.  

A K-12 Education bill that boosts resources for the READ Act to improve literacy, moves forward solutions for student wellbeing, and enhances support for teachers.  

An Environment and Natural Resources bill with new investments in tree planting, improving air quality, holding repeat polluters accountable, and tackling solid waste and recycling. Increasing funding for tree planting is essential, as trees provide vital benefits for the health and well-being of all our communities. Crucially, these benefits must be distributed equitably. 

A Children and Families bill that reforms our child protection system and builds on historic investments in economic support for families, food security, and emergency shelter.  

A Transportation, Labor, and Housing bill that invests in railroad safety and public transit, enhances worker rights and safety, improves housing stability for renters and seniors, and funds homelessness prevention.  

Graphical user interface, text

Description automatically generated

We passed a Pensions and Retirement bill with bipartisan support, which prioritizes educators’ retirement security, improves our pension systems’ health, and strengthens the benefits retirees can expect. Also passed was a bill addressing the “kidfluencer” industry that safeguards young content creators with protections for safety, fair compensation, and future financial security. 

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 also 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. 

We also passed legislation strengthening Minnesota’s laws around straw purchases, which occur when an individual buys a firearm for someone ineligible to purchase or possess them. H.F. 2609 updates the state’s straw purchasing law to increase the penalty from a gross misdemeanor to a felony. 

Finally, we passed H.F. 4300, which requires the safe storage of firearms, an important step to prevent access by children and others who should not have access to guns. This bill requires firearms be stored either unloaded and equipped with a locking device or placed in a locked firearm storage unit (e.g., a gun safe) or a locked gun room, where it may be either loaded or unloaded. The safe storage of firearms will save lives. 

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 on these bills. 

Stay connected 

Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so call or email any time. You can follow my new Facebook page or contact my office.  


It’s an honor to represent our community in the Minnesota House.  


Leigh Finke 

State Representative – 66A 

Committee Assignments: 

Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy 

Human Services Policy 

Judiciary Finance and Civil Law 

Legacy Finance 

Legislative Assistant 

Robin Mercer-Taylor