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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Connie Bernardy (DFL)

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Legislative Update- Bipartisan Progress on the State Budget

Friday, June 25, 2021



Dear Neighbors,

Last week, the House and Senate convened for a special session to wrap up work on the two-year state budget. We are working hard to deliver a budget that helps all Minnesotans recover from the difficulties of the past year and can thrive in long-term success. To date, we have passed bipartisan compromise budget legislation for: commerce, climate & energy; higher education; agriculture; clean water, outdoors, arts, and cultural heritage projects funded through the Legacy Amendment; transportation and housing.

As the Chair of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee, much of my work has been focused on crafting and enacting a compromise budget that ensures our students and families can recover from the pandemic’s impact, and that our public colleges and post-secondary skills programs are accessible to everyone who would like to advance their education or career. Leading the only all-women conference committee, we were the first working group to complete our budget work for Minnesotans. 




In an unprecedented year of a global pandemic, it is no secret our students and families have been hit especially hard. Our final product in higher education delivers:

  • Funding to support textbook-free z-degrees, hunger free campuses, and mental health assistance;
  • Scholarships for aspiring Teachers of Color and American Indian Teacher students to get more teachers of color in the classroom and to better reflect and celebrate our state’s diversity;
  • New investments into the State Grant program that will impact more than 75,000 students.

These are just a few of the great provisions within this area of the budget. You can learn more about what we’re doing to help students and families in higher education here.

Higher Ed


On Wednesday, the House advanced the transportation budget, which invests in our transportation infrastructure across the state by funding improvements for road safety, transit development and services, bridge replacements, freight and passenger rail projects, as well as active transportation modes, like pedestrian walkways and bike trails. The compromise transportation budget notably invests $57.5 million in arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). We were able to secure a large part of the funding for the F-Line BRT. My mom shared with me the plan to build F-Line transit route when I was a kid growing up a block next to University Ave. I’m so happy we are able to bring this funding home to make it a reality for our residents. A 10-20 minute daily bus service on average will improve lives.


Environment and Natural Resources Budget

Today, the Minnesota House passed the compromise Environment and Natural Resources budget which will help preserve Minnesota’s air, water, land, and wildlife for future generations. To ensure Minnesotans can access and enjoy the outdoors for years to come, the bipartisan Environment budget invests in state and regional parks, trails, and recreation areas. It supports programs like No Child Left Inside that create more opportunities for children and young adults to get outdoors and participate in recreational activities. We have a proud tradition of preserving our public lands, lakes, and parks in Minnesota and I was glad to support this area of the budget for our communities.


Direct Scheduling for Vaccinations is Available

Minnesotans can now use the Vaccine Connector to directly schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the state’s Community Vaccination Program locations, including children ages 12 and older. For Ramsey County Community Vaccine sites, click here. You can visit to directly schedule appointments at Community Vaccination locations around the state. Here is how you can get your shot:

Additionally, the governor launched the new "Your Shot to Summer" program, offering a list of great incentives to those who get their first COVID-19 shot May 27- June 30. This is to help us get above the 70% total vaccinations so we can have a safe and open summer. Learn more about this great opportunity here,

12 and older eligible

Vacancies for State Boards, Councils, and Committees

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State has a number of vacancies for various state boards, councils, and committees that are accepting applications. I encourage you to apply and serve to share your expertise in public service. The newest vacancies are listed below, and the full list of vacancies can be found on our website Open Positions.

Applications may be submitted online, and must be submitted within 21 days of the “Publish Date” listed on the Open Positions page. Appointing authorities may choose to review applications received by the Secretary of State after the 21-day application period.

Keep in Touch

Please keep in touch with questions and input on state matters at or 651-296-5510. 

It’s an honor to serve the communities in which I grew up- Fridley, New Brighton, and Spring Lake Park- at the State Capitol.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.


Connie Bernardy

State Representative 

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