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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Andy Smith (DFL)

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Promoting a Clean Energy Future

Friday, March 3, 2023

Promoting a Clean Energy Future

Dear Neighbors,

In case you missed it, this Monday the Rochester Post Bulletin ran a column I wrote on the importance of passing the legislature’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Program. As a small business owner, I understand the fear some may have about this proposal, but I argue that our plan helps workers and small businesses in the long run. I encourage you to read the whole thing, but here is an excerpt:

“By all measures, paid family and medical leave is the right thing to do. It rewards and protects workers. It strengthens our social community and labor market. It gives our children the best chance to succeed. It takes the burden of providing for employees in crisis off of small business owners. But at the end of the day, the true reason we need to pass this proposal in the Minnesota Legislature is that it is the right thing to do.

I am excited to build a future in which workers never again must choose between providing for their families or caring for their families. That is why I will be proudly voting “Yes” on paid family and medical leave in Minnesota.”

I also spoke to the Post Bulletin about a bill regarding medical aid in dying. We know that there are flaws in our health care system, and a lot of that comes from the difficulty of having a very expensive medical system, having the insurance system that we have. A lot of these simply cannot be solved overnight, so we're working on small ways that we can inject some compassion into the system.

Promoting Clean Energy

This week, I had my first bill presentation in the Climate and Energy Committee. My bill, HF 2032, is a bipartisan proposal to increase funding for Clean Energy Resource Teams, or CERTs. For the past 20 years, CERTs have partnered with communities across Minnesota to help them transition to cleaner energy sources. These teams help connect groups with the resources and information they need to advance renewable energy sources like solar energy, electric vehicles, and more. I am proud to be carrying this bill which will help address our climate crisis with targeted investments in our communities.

House Floor Votes

Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed the Pathways Home Act. This legislation increases funds dedicated to ending homelessness in our state by investing in emergency services programs, transitional housing, outreach, and a pathway to stable housing for all Minnesotans. Emergency services and shelters save lives and keep people safe. The Pathway Home Act invests $150 million through 2028 to preserve and add over 3,000 shelter beds throughout Minnesota to ensure more people can receive services and housing regardless of their background or zip code.

We also voted to put new guardrails into state law to prevent unconscionable price gouging during times of emergency such as a pandemic or natural disaster. Minnesotans deserve to be protected from bad actors seeking to profit off their needs and fears in a time of crisis. Voting for this bill is a vote to hold people accountable when they take advantage of our family, friends, and neighbors.

Stay Connected!

To share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to reach out at or 651-296-9249, and I will be happy to help. If you were forwarded this email and you’d like to subscribe, click here. If you have a friend or neighbor who would be interested in receiving these, please forward this and encourage them to subscribe!


Andy Smith,
State Representative