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

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Helping our Health Care Workers

Friday, March 17, 2023

Helping our Health Care Workers

Dear Neighbors,

We are halfway through the 2023 legislative session and are continuing to move forward on our priorities to make Minnesota a better state for everyone! Here is an update from the last couple of weeks at the Capitol. I was glad to have a group of pediatricians from our district come visit and discuss how we can better support their work here in Saint Paul!

Constituent Meeting

Last weekend, I was proud to hold a roundtable discussion with Rochester small business owners discussing the impacts of our plan to provide paid family and medical leave to all Minnesota workers. As a small business owner, I know firsthand that any new cost can be scary for entrepreneurs, and I was glad for the chance to have a great discussion on the bill. You can read my op-ed in the Rochester Post Bulletin from earlier this year here.

Keeping Nurses at the Bedside

This week the Health Committee, which I serve on, heard HF1700, also known as the “Keeping Nurses at the Bedside Act.” We heard testimony from nurses and hospital staff on the challenges they face while caring for patients. Many spoke about poor working conditions and the need to boost retention. HF1700 takes a multi-step approach to give nurses and hospital workers a better say in their workplace and gives them resources to stay in the profession. I was proud to speak in committee in support of the bill and to be a co-author of this important legislation. You can watch my comments here or by clicking the image below!

Then on Wednesday night, I presented my bill to fund the Bridges to Healthcare program to the Workforce Development Committee. Bridges to Healthcare provides career education and job training to low-income and disadvantaged families. This program will help secure pathways into the healthcare industry for those individuals while also addressing our workforce shortages. I was proud to author this bill, and you can watch the hearing here.

Rochester Capital Investment Projects

            On Wednesday, I presented a bill in front of the Capital Investment Committee to provide the city of Rochester with funds to construct a park-and-ride facility on Broadway Avenue North. Tens of thousands of people come to Rochester every day to visit, work, or access medical services, and this is a common-sense way to support carpooling and environmentally-friendly practices. Thank you to the Mayor of Rochester, Kim Norton for testifying in committee about this project! 

Today, I have another bill that would improve municipal heating and cooling systems for downtown buildings, including the Mayo Civic Center, Rochester City Hall, the Art Center, and Public Library. While these bills might not get the most headlines, I am proud to work with our local leaders to ensure that we are making investments that make Rochester a better place to live.

House Floor Votes

Last week, The Minnesota House unanimously passed a bill that would enhance child welfare protections under the 1985 Minnesota Indian Family Preservation Act, known as MIFPA. The legislation also affirms the state’s policy on Tribal-state relations, including the recognition of Tribes as sovereign nations and the recognition that Tribes have the inherent authority to determine their own jurisdiction for Indian child custody or child placement proceedings.

This Thursday, the House DFL passed legislation to provide emergency rental assistance to Minnesotans facing housing insecurity. The cost of rent and the number of evictions are increasing, and at a time when the protections and resources provided at the height of the pandemic are going away. We must deliver a lifeline to families as we continue our work to address the state’s housing crisis.

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

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