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

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Legislative update: Session adjourns, new budget approved

Friday, July 2, 2021

Rep. Bernardy


Dear Neighbors,

The Minnesota House of Representatives finished passing a new state budget and adjourned earlier this week. I’m proud of the budget we approved and of the months of hard work we did with Minnesotans to ensure that it was as strong and equitable as possible. While the compromise budget we crafted following negotiations with Senate Republicans doesn’t include everything we would’ve liked, it’s still a significant step forward! The investments we delivered will help Minnesotans recover from a challenging year and thrive as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I want to wish everyone a very safe and happy Fourth of July weekend.




Improving Public Safety 

Minnesotans deserve to be safe in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. The Public Safety and Judiciary budget we approved this week aims to improve police accountability, support community organizations working to improve safety and prevent violence, and build trust between law enforcement professionals and the people they serve. The bill also addresses economic inequalities in our criminal justice system.  

I’m particularly excited about the provisions in this budget that will help survivors of sexual assault by:  

  • Closing the voluntary intoxication loophole 
  • Creating a crime of sexual extortion 
  • Eliminating the statute of limitations in sexual assault cases  
  • Increasing services and support for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence 

Protecting Our Environment and Natural Resources  

All Minnesotans deserve to have clean air, clean water, and plenty of places and opportunities to spend time outdoors. The Environment and Natural Resources budget protects humans and wildlife from pollution, harmful chemicals, and other serious threats. It addresses several environmental issues, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) and invasive species like emerald ash borer (EAB), and creates more opportunities for children and teenagers to get outdoors and participate in recreational activities.   

Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care  

Our Health and Human Services budget aims to improve Minnesota’s health care system and expand access to affordable care. It invests in our public health infrastructure, strengthens behavioral and mental health services, addresses inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes, increases pay for personal care assistants (PCAs) who help people live independently, and more!  

Investing in Minnesota Schools  

Every child in Minnesota deserves a world-class education, no matter where they live or what they look like. This session, we delivered the largest investment in public schools in 15 years. Our early childhood – 12 grade education budget increases student funding by 2.45 percent this coming year and another 2 percent the following year.

This funding will help our schools retain teachers, keep class sizes from growing, and provide academic and emotional support for students who experienced learning disruptions and other challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget also preserves voluntary pre-Kindergarten opportunities, addresses special education and English learner needs, and invests in recruiting and retaining teachers of color and Indigenous teachers.   

More Information about the State Budget 

If you’d like to read more about a particular area of the budget, you can click on the following links for a nonpartisan summary from House Public Information Services: LegacyAgriculture and BroadbandHigher EducationCommerce, Climate, and EnergyTransportationHousingEnvironment and Natural ResourcesJobs and LaborE-12 EducationHealth and Human ServicesPublic Safety and JudiciaryState Government, Elections, and Veterans; and Taxes