The state budget we will enact this year is more than a fiscal document – it is a moral document that should reflect Minnesotans’ values. Minnesotans care about their families, neighbors, and communities, and want our state to work better for everyone. On March 21, the House Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, and Governor Walz reached an agreement on a framework for a new state budget. Work in legislative committees is winding down, and chairs will now be hard at work assembling their respective budget bills.
This process can be intimidating for a new member, but I am learning quickly on the job! This week we have been going over the Health budget bill, which is over 500 pages long! We know that our health care system is in need of support, and I am proud that we are using our budget to ensure health care is more accessible and affordable for all Minnesotans.
This care is life-saving, evidence-based, and echoed by positive outcomes for members of the trans and LGBTQIA2S+ community. Studies show that for young people who identify as transgender, gender-affirming care can decrease emotional distress, and has positive effects on overall well-being. I was proud to vote yes in support of this critical legislation.
I also wanted to highlight an article (“Minnesota legislators push task force to explore legalizing psychedelic medicine”) published in the Star Tribune about my bill! I thank them, especially for their focus on how some of the biggest supporters of this type of medicine are veterans suffering from PTSD. I spoke to the Tribune about how the pandemic has affected all of our mental health, and how we as legislators, have a responsibility to study these options and see if people will benefit.
House Floor Votes
In the past couple of weeks, the House DFL has passed a number of important bills. We passed the “Reproductive Freedom Defense Act,” legislation to protect patients and providers from legal or disciplinary actions for seeking reproductive health care. We also passed legislation to ban the use of private prisons, which are not accountable to the public, nor are they safe for those incarcerated. Finally, we voted to unlock federal energy-related funds to bring more clean energy projects and good-paying jobs to Minnesota!
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