For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879
Spring is on the horizon and I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather. As it gets nicer outside every day, it seems activity at the Legislature is getting busier. Yesterday it was great meeting with education advocates from the Hopkins, Robbinsdale, and Wayzata school districts. Joining us were several parents, community members, and school board members. We share support for the value that every student deserves an equal opportunity to learn in a supportive, safe environment.
It was also enjoyable spending time with members of Girl Scout Troop 14881 this week. One of the surest signs of spring at the Capitol is when groups are again allowed to access the Quadriga (golden horses) on the roof!
Here’s an update from the State Capitol.
State of the State Address
On Wednesday night, Governor Mark Dayton delivered his eighth and final State of the State address. He’s built a remarkable legacy of building a better Minnesota for everybody. It hasn’t always been easy though, having started his first term with a $6.2 billion deficit former Gov. Tim Pawlenty left behind. He was able to turn this around though, and now we have a stable long-term budget outlook. Further, he did this while making key progress in the things we all value, with historic investments in education (including all-day kindergarten and expanded preK opportunities), an increase in the minimum wage, and the creation of many more jobs in the state leading to the lowest unemployment rate we’ve had in many years.
There’s plenty of work left to do this legislative session, and the governor highlighted several of his key priorities including investments in public infrastructure, including in clean water infrastructure, ensuring our taxes are fair, making sure our schools are safe, and expanding quality health care options. I look forward to partnering with him to increase opportunities for all Minnesotans.
Students Walk Out
Across the country on Wednesday, thousands upon thousands of students from across the nation walked out of their classrooms with a firm message that gun violence in our nation must end. No student should need to enter a classroom for the day fearful that their school may be the next location of the next tragedy.
St. Louis Park students gathered at Fire Station No. 1 after walking out of class (photo courtesy Anne Casey.)
I was particularly proud of those students in St. Louis Park, Hopkins, and Robbinsdale who showed the courage to stand up for what they believe. Such collective action from our young people is awe-inspiring, and gives me great hope for what we can accomplish together. I hope they and other Minnesotans concerned about this issue keep making their voices heard.
OutFront Youth Summit
Yesterday, OutFront Minnesota held their annual Youth Summit at the Capitol which included a rally calling for the end to the harmful practice of so-called “conversion therapy.” This practice, discredited by groups such as the American Psychological Association and American Medical Association, involves efforts to change a person’s gender identity or expression. It can put LGBTQ youth at risk for depression, substance abuse, and even suicide.
I’m committed to standing with LGBTQ youth and allies to protect young people to reaffirm their human rights, not allow them to be subjected to such a dangerous, deceptive practice
This morning, Governor Mark Dayton released his 2018 supplemental budget. It includes measures to make taxes fairer for Minnesota families, continued investments in education, including preK and special education, and funding to improve care for seniors and end the opioid epidemic, with a significant piece of this targeted for Native communities.
Over the coming weeks, legislative committees will consider the proposals contained within the governor’s budget. While I look forward to looking more closely at the details, it’s clear this budget will help ensure every Minnesotan can experience our state’s prosperity, while maintaining the level of fiscal responsibility needed to deliver on our key values into the future. A wealth of information about the plan can be found at Minnesota Management and Budget’s webpage.
As always, don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime with your input, ideas, or if I can ever be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.
Rep. Peggy Flanagan
309 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
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