Yesterday, Governor Walz announced that more than three million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota. I got my first shot last weekend and am so grateful for all the scientists, health care workers, public health officials, and essential workers who made this possible.
Have you been able to get vaccinated yet? If not, I encourage you to sign up for the Vaccine Connector so you’ll receive alerts when vaccines are available nearby. Opportunities to get vaccinated will continue increasing as the state receives more vaccines from the federal government, and it’s critical that we all do our part to care for our communities and bring this pandemic to a close.
Developing a Strong, Equitable Budget
As legislators, my colleagues and I are responsible for developing and passing a new, two-year state budget. I thought it may be helpful to share where we are at in this process and what comes next. In the first part of the session, we worked in our policy and finance committees to hear proposals on the different areas of the budget (E-12 Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and so on). In those hearings, we heard testimony from thousands of Minnesotans, experts, public officials, and community leaders and had important conversations about how these policies would address the needs of Minnesota.
Now during this second half of the legislative session, the committees put together comprehensive budget proposals, which are often referred to as “omnibus bills,” made up of many of the bills we’ve heard that reflect our vision for how to raise and invest the resources of our state government. House DFLers are working hard to develop a strong, equitable budget based on the input we’ve received from Minnesotans throughout the year. We unveiled all of our budget bills on Monday and have been holding hearings throughout the week to hear testimony from Minnesotans. After that, we’ll start hearing and passing the bills off the House floor!
I’ll share more information about the budget and updates on our progress over the next few weeks. If you’d like to learn more about the House DFL budget bills, I recommend reading the articles published by Session Daily. Each one has a nonpartisan summary of the bill and links to more information. You can also watch the public hearings we’ve held on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel.
Defending and Strengthening Our Democracy
I’m particularly excited about the State Government Finance and Elections omnibus bill because it contains several provisions to defend and strengthen our democracy. Many pieces of the Democracy for the People Act (HF 9), which I introduced, are included. The bill would restore voting rights to Minnesotans on probation or parole, establish automatic voter registration, prohibit intimidating voters and election officials, ensure state and local election officials have access to federal funds for election infrastructure and security, and more. Passing this bill would help ensure that every eligible Minnesotan can cast their vote and that our democracy and government are responsive to their voices.
Addressing the Climate Crisis
As one of the fastest warming states in the nation, Minnesota is already experiencing serious consequences due to climate change. To ensure our state is a healthy place to live for current and future generations, we need to reduce carbon emissions and rapidly transition to clean energy. This is a critical issue for our state and our district, and I have been grateful to hear from many of you on this topic.
I’m looking forward to supporting the Climate and Energy omnibus bill when it gets to the House floor. This bill will put Minnesota on a path to achieve 100 percent clean energy by 2040 and includes funding for electric buses, installing solar panels on schools and state-owned buildings, and other bold initiatives. It also includes some innovative environmental justice measures. In addition to prioritizing communities that are disproportionately impacted by climate change, the bill would create opportunities for members of these communities to benefit from the clean energy transition. For example, it includes funding to build a training center in North Minneapolis that would prepare Minnesotans for well-paying jobs in clean energy. It’s critical that we address the climate crisis and do it in a way that addresses the systemic inequities that hurt communities and our state. This is a good step, and I’m proud to support it.
If you’d like to stay informed during the final weeks of the legislative session, please like my Facebook page for frequent updates. Feel free to share this email with family, friends, and neighbors who might be interested as well; if they’d like to subscribe, they can do so at https://bit.ly/GreenmanUpdates.
Please continue sharing your questions, ideas, and feedback and let me know if I can be of assistance. You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-296-4200.