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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Larry Kraft (DFL)

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Legislative Update: April 5, 2024

Friday, April 5, 2024
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Dear Neighbors,

I hope you and your families are enjoying the spring holiday season and with it, warmer temperatures. We just had a short Easter break, and will also have short breaks for Eid and Passover. But, we are now back, and moving into the time of session when we spend more and more time on the floor passing legislation. Building on the successes of 2023, we remain committed to prioritizing quality education, accessible healthcare, and a secure job market. These investments will foster a thriving environment for families and grow the middle class.





Residential Energy Codes

Last year, one of the bills I carried that was passed requires the commercial energy code to be updated so that commercial buildings use 80% less energy by 2036 than the 2004 energy code. This week, I had a second committee stop for my bill to follow a similar path with the residential energy code, to achieve a 70% reduction by 2038.

Buildings are responsible for about 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota, and residential buildings generate just over half the amount. This bill is about addressing new homes by accelerating efficiency improvements in our state's residential energy code in a responsible way. The energy code is our tool to make sure that when new housing gets built, it is built right to maintain comfort, health, safety, and minimize energy waste.

You can view the bill hearing here.

Minnesota Energy Alley Launched

Last year I wrote a bill to create a new statewide initiative, Minnesota Energy Alley. MEA has launched – and is now providing support to a select group of startups who are making Minnesota’s clean energy future a reality. 

The new public-private partnership run by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota (CEEM) and Grid Catalyst is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce and is part of a larger focus on driving innovation to secure the state’s energy and economic development future. 

The initiative leverages Minnesota’s technological expertise, industry leadership, and collaborative spirit to drive the transition to a clean energy economy. In its inaugural year, Minnesota Energy Alley is providing seed funding to six startups participating in Grid Catalyst’s 2024 Demonstration Cohort and supporting other entrepreneur training and development. 

These are the types of investments that help support Minnesota's Climate Action Framework, create jobs, and that will strengthen Minnesota now and as we transition to a clean energy future.

Education in St. Louis Park Schools 

Recently, several parents in our community used Minnesota's "opt-out law" to opt their children out of classroom instruction using materials that reference LGBTQ+ related topics, due to their religious beliefs. In a resolution at the end of February, the St. Louis Park school board thoughtfully balanced the parents' concerns and Minnesota's legal requirements, confirming that students can be excused from specific school materials at their parents' request. The resolution also highlighted potential conflicts between the opt-out requirement and the Minnesota Human Rights Act's (MHRA) obligation not to discriminate based on protected classes, including based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and the district's "core values of creating safe and inclusive learning and working environments in [its] schools."

I want to thank our school board for this resolution that strikes me as consistent with the values of our St. Louis Park community. The inconsistencies they have pointed out in state statute between alternative instruction opt-out requirements and the Minnesota Human Rights Act makes it clear that a broader statewide discussion is necessary in this area, and I look forward to working on that in the coming months. Please reach out to me with any concerns or thoughts on this issue. 

You can read more about this here.

Middle Missing Housing Bill

This session I’m lead author on key legislation that would bolster the state’s “missing middle” housing supply and provide more affordable family homes. It was described at length in an earlier legislative update. You may have seen recent publicity about this bill, for example in the Star Tribune. Throughout the last few months, I’ve met with stakeholders including local officials, advocates, and developers to craft this legislation. 

The bill is a disruption of the status quo and anytime you are disrupting the status quo, there are challenges. With opposition from cities, it became apparent that the bill doesn’t have a path to become law this session. However, complex and significant changes often take more than one year. So I am encouraged that we have started an important conversation throughout Minnesota, and look forward to working on it next year, because our housing crisis isn’t going away. 

City Hosts Catalytic Converter Theft Deterrent Marking Event May 2

The St. Louis Park police and public works departments are hosting a catalytic converter theft deterrent marking event May 2nd from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Municipal Service Center. Vehicles will be put on a vehicle lift and the catalytic converter will be etched and spray painted by a mechanic. Each participant will receive a window sticker stating the car has a marked catalytic converter.

Interested residents must first complete an event interest form which will be available April 11 at 10 a.m. to April 12 at 4 p.m. Those that complete the interest form will be placed into a lottery drawing, where 72 residents will be selected at random to attend the event. Those chosen through the lottery drawing will receive a confirmation email on April 16 with a link to select a time slot to attend the event. Those not selected are encouraged to apply for future marking events, which will be shared through city communications channels.

Visit the Things to Do page to complete the interest form starting April 11 at 10 a.m.

The event is free of charge to St. Louis Park residents. Registration is required; no walk-ins will be accepted.

Veterans Day at the Capitol

Veterans and supporters are invited to participate in the annual Veterans Day on the Hill, on Wednesday, April 17. Advocate for veterans’ issues, meet with legislators and attend the State Capitol rotunda rally. I hope to see you at the Capitol on April 17!






Stay in Touch

If you have questions, ideas, or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at or call (651) 296-7026. For more regular updates, you can subscribe to these legislative updates if you haven’t already, here, and you can also “like” and follow my official State Representative Facebook page.


Larry Kraft

State Representative