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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kim Hicks (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 19, 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024

Dear neighbors,

We had another busy week with more late nights at the State Capitol, as we continue to debate and vote on policy packages aimed at improving the lives of hard-working families.

We passed a number of policy packages off the House floor this week, including bills relating to Environment and Natural Resources, Commerce, Human Services, and Climate and Energy.

Notable provisions include strong consumer protections, safeguards for children on social media, phasing out the sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities, and expanding opportunities to protect our native prairies. I’m looking forward to passing more bills that build on our historically productive 2023 legislative session and help Minnesotans afford their lives!

Somali Day at the Capitol

This week, I had the privilege of speaking at a rally for Somali Day at the Capitol. Rochester is home to the second largest Somali community in Minnesota, outside of the Twin Cities. It is my distinct honor to represent this growing community at the Capitol, and it is my goal to do well by them. That’s why I’ve authored a bill to appropriate $1.8 million to provide mental health education and support services to Somali students and their parents. It is so important that we as lawmakers support our Somali students, parents, and communities across the state. Thank you to the Somali community in Rochester for trusting me to represent you, and I’m excited to keep working together to pass policies for the betterment of our community and all of Minnesota.

Moms Demand Action

I had the pleasure of meeting with constituents and advocates from Moms Demand Action this week. They were at the State Capitol to make sure that gun violence prevention is a top priority in Minnesota this session. Thank you for everything you do to make our children and our communities safer!

Committee Hearings

This week I presented more of my bills, including House File 4779, which would allow Medical Assistance dollars to be used for crisis stabilization for children in residential treatment facilities. This bill aims to better serve our children and their families by offering the appropriate level of care in a community setting earlier in crisis. It would help prevent the potential need for children to be in hospital emergency rooms or more invasive and expensive residential programs.The children’s mental health crisis continues to be a significant concern in Minnesota. Our care providers are short-staffed and our children cannot access the care when they need it, and they may end up in crisis. Coverage through Medical Assistance will help ensure that children crisis stabilization services can expand statewide to better support our children and families. 

You can view my full remarks from the House Health Finance and Policy committee here

In the Judiciary Committee, I presented House File 5049, which would prevent courts from using disability as a factor when making a decision about a parent’s ability to adopt a child, fight a child protection order, or get parenting time. Too often we see courts incorrectly assume a person with a disability can’t raise a child as safely as a person without a disability. I’m authoring this bill to help fix systematic and ableistic practices in child welfare, adoption, and child custody.

Environmental Funding Survey

Did you know that a portion of Minnesota’s lottery proceeds go towards protecting our environment and natural resources through the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund? Since 1991, the ENRTF has provided approximately $700 million to over 1,700 projects around the state.

The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources is now gathering input about the future of Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund spending and taking feedback about what environmental issues are most important to you. Make your voice heard about how to improve Minnesota's environment & natural resources.

Take the survey here.

Free Park Day!

On Saturday, April 27, all Minnesota state parks and state recreation areas will be offering free admission to everyone– no vehicle permits needed! In Minnesota, we are lucky to have amazing state parks all across the state, and these fee-free days are a great opportunity to experience them! You can find out more information about the fee-free days here.

Stay Connected with the Legislature

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 find my information on my House website. You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter.

It is an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.


Kim Hicks

State Representative