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

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Building a More Welcoming Minnesota

Friday, March 31, 2023

Building a More Welcoming Minnesota

Dear Neighbors,

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.

Smith Health Budget Bill

Trans Refuge Bill

Last week we took a fantastic step towards making Minnesota more inclusive and welcoming to all, regardless of gender identity. I was proud to join my friend and fellow legislator Leigh FInke as she presented her bill to protect Minnesotans from out-of-state laws that seek to prevent them from seeking gender-affirming care.

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.

Trans Refuge Bill

Psychedelic Medicine Task Force

I am glad to report that my bill establishing a Psychedelic Medicine Task Force was heard in the Health Finance and Policy Committee earlier this month. I was proud to present this legislation, which starts a conversation about the positive benefits of these substances and ends our harmful “war on drugs” mentality. I am also glad to report my bill has bipartisan support! You can watch my comments in committee here.

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.

Smith Star Tribune Article

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!

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