Last week, Governor Tim Walz, Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced reaching an agreement on key budget decisions, taking a major step toward finalizing the two-year state budget. The agreed-upon budget framework includes historic investments for kids and families, addressing climate change, and funding to improve health and safety.
When a state writes its budget, we create more than a fiscal document. We lay out what Minnesotans value. It was developed by listening to Minnesotans, drawing on thousands of face-to-face conversations with people, like you, at the door. Whether it’s ensuring no child goes without breakfast and lunch in school, or providing more economic security for families, this budget agreement puts Minnesotans first.
Here’s an update on what has been happening at the Capitol.
Sovereignty Day at the Capitol
Recently, the Minnesota House and Senate held Sovereignty Day at the Capitol. It was an educational opportunity for legislators that included tribal history and culture, sovereignty, and the interplay between federal, state, and tribal law. It was an honor to have the opportunity to listen and learn from the leaders of the eleven federally-recognized sovereign tribal nations in Minnesota. I learned that we, as legislators, still have work to do to strengthen relationships with our tribal communities. It is important for us to engage in government-to-government relations with our state’s Native tribes and first peoples.
Advancing Clean Energy
This session I have been advancing legislation to ease homeowners into using clean energy, including my bill to limit homeowners associations’ ability to prevent their neighbors from installing solar panels on their homes.
Additionally, I introduced a residential solar bill to add funding to the successful Solar Rewards Program that is running through Xcel Energy. It was initially established to encourage early adopters to produce electricity for the bigger energy grid, and continues to help homeowners combat climate change. When the customer invests the upfront capital to install the system in their home, Xcel will make annual payments to the owner of that system in exchange for energy credits for the energy produced by the homeowner. This bill advanced the Climate and Energy Committee in a bipartisan vote, and I’m looking forward to turning this into law.
Safeguarding Gender-Affirming Healthcare
In response to the growing number of legislative assaults on those who seek gender-affirming healthcare, the House voted to prohibit any attempts of outside jurisdictions or entities from reaching into our state with their laws to take action on people who come to Minnesota to receive this critical care. The legislation mirrors legislation being introduced across the country in a multistate effort to create states of refuge for those seeking this care.
These efforts will protect Minnesotans and they will send a strong message to the trans community that they are loved, supported, and protected here in our state.
New PFAS Protections
The Biden Administration announced the Environmental Protection Agency will require utilities to remove PFAS from drinking water. It is estimated as many as 200 million Americans are currently exposed to PFAS chemicals through drinking water. The EPA regulation would include testing and filtering of six PFAS chemicals.
I’m incredibly thankful we will be seeing federal action on getting PFAS out of drinking water. Unfortunately, PFAS chemicals are found in more places than that. These cancer-causing chemicals are found in products and packaging we use every single day, and they actively harm our health, our families, and our future. I have signed on to numerous bills, including banning PFAS in other types of products like ski wax, certain firefighting foam, and cosmetics, to make sure we’re taking a comprehensive approach. The settlement from 3M will not be enough to carry our community safely into the future. I look forward to continuing this work in partnership with county, city, and state officials to ensure the PFAS contamination is fully addressed.
HF1656 - Matching funds and providing technical assistance for entities to be more competitive in receiving IIJA and IRA money
Around the District
Congratulations to the Woodbury Ambulance Service for being awarded a Certificate of Excellence for their high marks in Clinical Advisory Performance Measures!
Keep in Touch
Do you have questions, comments, or exciting news? You can contact me at email@example.com, by phone at 651-296-7807, or on Facebook. I appreciate the opportunity to serve our district in the legislature and look forward to hearing from you.