As we close out the Community Conversations for the session, I want to extend a big thank you to everyone who joined and made their voices heard. Our most recent conversation prompted the discussion around racial justice and the work we need to continue to close disparities in Minnesota. For those who were curious about the House Select Committee on Racial Justice’s report to the legislature, you can find a copy here.
I’m also pleased to share that the Hometown Heroes Act, which I’m chief authoring, is gaining traction across the state! Minn Post is urging passage of the bill and you can read the excellent op/ed on why it’s important here.
I had two bills up in committee this week. The first would expand eligibility for the renter and homestead property tax refund and the second would provide grants to counties for local small businesses who have been impacted the most by the pandemic.
Last week, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help thousands across the country and in Minnesota recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you want to learn more about this robust assistance package, the nonpartisan National Council of State Legislatures (NCSL) has an excellent overview of the measure you can check out here.
With incoming federal funds, and a revised state budget forecast, Governor Walz has revised his state budget proposal. The new plan includes modified conformity for the Shuttered Venues grant and the Paycheck Protection Program, both of which have been valuable lifelines to Minnesota’s small businesses. The proposal would exclude the first $350,000 from income for forgiven loan amounts. Approximately 90% of the loans received in Minnesota are under that threshold and will receive the full tax exemption. This will ensure that Minnesota’s small businesses remain an economic engine for communities across the state. The bill also includes tax cuts for Minnesotans on unemployment benefits. You can read more about the governor’s revised budget proposal here. In the next few weeks, the individual finance committees in the House and Senate will be putting their proposals together and sending them to their respective floors for votes.
Vaccine Update for Hennepin County
As the state moves into the next phase of vaccinations, and eligibility for everyone is nearly in sight, Hennepin County has launched an online registration system. County residents may now to register for the county’s public health clinics. Register here and you'll be contacted if an appointment becomes available and you are eligible.
MAP Caucus responds to mass shooting in Atlanta
This week, a horrific act of violence committed against Asian Americans rocked the nation. Members of the Minnesota Asian Pacific (MAP) Caucus issued a statement calling the mass shooting the tragic result of increasingly hateful, offensive, and inflammatory rhetoric against Asian people that has taken place over the last year. Click here to read the caucus’ entire statement, and click here to watch MAP Caucus Chair Rep. Tou Xiong deliver a speech about this crisis on the House floor.
Connecting with Constituents
This week, I had the opportunity to connect with several constituents from various groups advocating for their “Days on the Hill”. I met with folks from Leading Age (Senior services providers), Housing First (realtors, builders, and developers, and the Humane Society of the United States.
Humane Society of the United States
Keep in Touch
Please reach out anytime with feedback or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-296-9889. I appreciate hearing from you! Because we continue to operate remotely in the House, email is the fastest way to get in touch.
Thank you for the honor of representing our Hopkins and St. Louis Park neighbors at the State Capitol.