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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Ned Carroll (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 27, 2024

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Dear neighbors,

It wouldn’t be spring in Minnesota without a little snow! I hope everyone is making the most of it and staying safe and warm as we head into April.

We just passed an important legislative deadline on March 22nd, and we are still hard at work on solutions aimed at improving the lives of middle and working class Minnesotans.


Committee Hearings

I recently had the opportunity to chair the House Capital Investment Committee as we heard presentations on projects from state agencies, the Amateur Sports Commission, the Perpich Center for Arts Education, and the Minnesota Zoo. These projects, which are under consideration to be included in a “bonding bill,” would all be critical investments in our state, and serve to further improve the lives of working and middle class families. 

I also presented legislation to the House Climate and Energy Committee which would strengthen the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (or C-PACE) program. C-PACE financing has been a highly successful program in Minnesota since it was established more than a decade ago, improving our building stock and providing long-term, low-cost private financing to building owners. Over 400 projects have been completed since the program’s inception, bringing over $320 million in private investment to our state. In recent years, we have fallen behind other states in the total volume of C-PACE projects being undertaken, primarily due to our now-outdated enabling legislation, which contains restrictions not found in other states. My bill aims to make the program more accessible to commercial property owners for a wider range of projects. 


House Approves 101 Environmental Projects

Minnesotans take pride in our legacy of environmental stewardship. That’s why DFLers passed legislation to fund 101 projects across our state that protect our wildlife, water, air, and soil. 

The funding, which comes from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, uses a portion of our state lottery proceeds to ensure our environment and natural resources are protected for generations to come.

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.


Building a Clean Energy Future

In 2023, lawmakers answered the call from Minnesotans of all generations to take urgent action addressing our climate crisis by enacting a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. To achieve this benchmark – one of the most ambitious in the nation – we need wind and solar farms to generate clean energy and transmission lines to carry that energy to the electric grid. There’s a big problem though: too many clean energy projects are stuck in a slow approval process. Today, about 51% of Minnesota’s electricity comes from carbon-free sources, but according to research, to reach our 100% goal, Minnesota must double the current pace at which new solar and wind energy sources are being developed.

That’s why I support the Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act. This legislation – which has earned broad support from Minnesota utilities, clean energy advocates, and our partners in labor – will eliminate redundancies, increase transparency, and make Minnesota’s permitting process more efficient and consistent. Given Minnesota’s unpredictable weather, shaving even a couple of months off the permitting process could mean a difference of an entire year when it comes to construction. As addressing climate change becomes increasingly urgent, saving this time is more critical now than ever. Without upgrades to our decades-old energy permitting laws to meet the challenges we face today, our carbon-free ambitions may not become reality. The Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act will help us meet this critical moment and remove barriers to the clean energy future all Minnesotans deserve.


Expanding Access to Affordable, High-Quality Health Care

All Minnesotans deserve to live healthy lives with economic security, and DFLers at the Capitol are committed to expanding access to affordable, quality health care. Unfortunately, too many Minnesotans currently can’t afford health insurance or have health insurance they can’t afford to use. Working families without employer-based insurance often face outrageous premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. For instance, many plans on the individual market have annual deductibles of $7,000 or higher. This puts Minnesotans in an impossible predicament, which leads to people avoiding care and results in poor health outcomes – sometimes with tragic consequences.

One plan, among several, to solve this problem impacting middle-class Minnesotans is the MinnesotaCare Public Option. It would allow all Minnesotans to access comprehensive health insurance coverage – with vision, dental, and more – with low out-of-pocket costs and a large network of quality medical providers. People enrolled in the Public Option would pay their own premiums – with significantly lower prices than what’s available currently on the individual market – determined on a sliding scale based on income.

MinnesotaCare has been a nation-leading, highly successful, and trusted health insurance program serving low-income working Minnesotans for over 30 years. The bill creating a MinnesotaCare Public Option – which would expand affordable health insurance to thousands of more Minnesotans – is advancing through the committee process in the House. 


High Demand for Universal School Meals Prompts Legislation to Meet Need

Because it’s impossible to learn effectively when a student is hungry, in 2023, the Legislature made breakfast and lunch free across the state. Participation in the universal school meals program has surpassed the initially anticipated increase by more than 20% across the state. To ensure we’re meeting the need and filling this gap, House DFLers approved legislation to continue these investments so no child goes hungry at school.

MPR had a great story about the program that you can read here.


Federal Assistance for Small Businesses Affected by Warm Winter

Our “winter” this year has been unseasonably warm. While many of us have enjoyed foregoing winter jackets this year, the low precipitation we’ve experienced this winter has had a real economic impact on small businesses that rely on snow and winter tourism. Federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available due to the ongoing federal drought declarations affecting 81 Minnesota counties. Small business owners should apply here for assistance as soon as possible.


Stay Connected!

Unfortunately, due to technological constraints, replies to this newsletter won’t reach my email account. To share your input or ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance, please feel free to reach out at or 651-296-5510, and I will be happy to help. 


Ned Carroll,

State Representative