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

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Legislative Update: May 19, 2024

Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Dear Neighbors,

The bulk of our time these past two weeks was spent on the House floor, debating and passing our proposals for new policies and supplemental budgets. Much of this work is building off our efforts from last year, ensuring our investments have the greatest impact possible for Minnesotans.


You may hear the term “budget bill” tossed around and I thought I’d explain it and why it’s heard at the end of session. Because we’re a part-time legislature that meets for only a few months every year (Jan-May or Feb-May), we have a limited amount of time to get work done and pass legislation. Each bill takes time on the floor, not to mention in one or more committees before it gets to the floor. Additionally, the minority party will often want to see fewer bills passed from the majority’s agenda, which creates a natural incentive for the minority to slow things down, sometimes further limiting legislative time. 

As session progresses, each committee typically bundles up a set of related bills into a single, larger package of legislation to be debated and voted on as one bill. It helps us get through a lot more legislative work than we would otherwise. 

We’re wrapping up all our major bills, often also called supplemental budget bills because though this isn’t a budget year, the bills may have some modest budget additions or changes in them. Here are nonpartisan summaries of some of these bills: K-12 Education, Children & Families, Transportation, Labor, and Housing, Higher Education, Judiciary and Public Safety, State and Local Government and Veterans, Elections, Human Services, Workforce and Economic Development, Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy, Health, and Taxes.

As we continue to pass our remaining House proposals, House and Senate members are currently meeting in conference committees to craft consensus legislation for where we differ in these issue areas. I was on the Commerce Policy conference committee which finished last week and am also on the Energy, Agriculture & Commerce Finance conference committee, which is almost finished. These conference committee meetings, and passing these final bills, will likely take up our remaining days of the legislative session. 

Climate & Energy Supplemental Budget Bill

As the vice-chair of the Climate & Energy Committee, I had the privilege to step in and present our bill last week. Our 2024 Climate & Energy bill builds on and helps implement the fantastic work of last year's bill, that put us on the path to 100% carbon free electricity by 2040 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions statewide by 2050. 

If you’re interested, here is where I start presenting the bill, thank staff, describe the bill’s components, and then debate proposed amendments. I’m proud of the bill and the work our committee did this year. For my short closing argument, including a mention of an inspiring meeting I had with Benilde St. Margaret 8th graders, click here or on the photo below.




Statehood Day

Last Saturday, May 11, 2024, Minnesota celebrated 166 years of statehood. The Minnesota State Flag and Seal approved by the State Emblems Redesign Commission early this year became the official state emblems. This is a culmination of months gathering input from and engaging with Minnesotans to find consensus on a flag and seal that represents the best of all of us.


Flag and Seal


Upcoming Town Hall

On  June 12th, I’ll be hosting a town hall at the St. Louis Park City Hall from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. to deliver updates from St. Paul, answer questions about the 2024 legislative session, share some priorities for next year, and discuss pretty much whatever you’d like to discuss. Please come if you can!


Slow Mow Summer

You’ve probably heard of “No Mow May” and may have even participated in making your lawn more pollinator-friendly! While it’s a catchy slogan, researchers from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab have modified the popular campaign due to additional research on best practices for pollinators and lawn health.

“Slow Mow Summer” takes the sentiment of “No Mow May” and expands it to the entire growing season! Because guess what? Bees need food AFTER May, too. Many bee species do not even emerge from hibernation until June or July, when self-heal, ground plum, lanceleaf tickweed, or calico American aster may be blooming in your lawn. 

Mowing after lawn flowers bloom instead of before is the main goal of “Slow Mow Summer.” You can learn more about how best to help native pollinators, like Rusty Patched Bumblebee, survive and thrive here!


Expunging Cannabis Records

When we passed our legislation last year to legalize adult-use cannabis, a big part of that work focused on ensuring the Minnesotans who had been charged with non-violent cannabis crimes would have the chance to expunge their criminal records. The Walz administration recently announced that they have completed much of that work, resulting in nearly 58,000 records being expunged and those Minnesotans being able to continue their lives without having these non-violent infractions on their records now that we have legalized adult-use cannabis.

Meeting with Constituents!

I had the privilege of meeting with some St. Louis Park neighbors at the Capitol who were advocating for a local option for Ranked Choice Voting, which I strongly support. 



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