Investing in Safe Schools
Minnesotans deserve safe and secure schools, and protecting students is of the highest priority in our work at the Legislature. As part of Minnesota’s new education budget passed earlier this year, over $30 million in funds will be available for Minnesota’s schools at the end of the month as part of the 2020 Safe Schools Supplemental Aid.
The 2020 State Schools Supplemental Aid is a one-time appropriation included with school districts’ Integrated Department of Education Aid System (IDEAS) payment. This investment will better ensure that our community is able to address the unique safety needs of our schools –
including mental health counseling, facility security enhancements, school resource officers, gang resistance education training, and other safety provisions. There’s more to do to ensure Minnesota students have access to the resources they need to be successful in and out of the classroom. I’m committed to delivering on solid and sustainable policies next session to help achieve these goals for Minnesota families.
Over the summer, the House DFL held a series of community listening sessions across the state as an opportunity for Minnesotans to share personal stories about emergency insulin access, learn about solutions under discussion at the Legislature, and put pressure on pharmaceutical companies to end price gouging.
At the end of September, the House Health and Human Services Finance Division held an informational hearing to discuss the differences between the House and Senate’s proposals, recap what was learned from the statewide community conversations, and learn how we can put forward solutions to address this issue that’s impacting far too many Minnesotans. Since then, a bipartisan group has been formed and ongoing meetings are expected. The time to act on emergency insulin access is now.
Taking on Big Tobacco
This week, my House DFL colleagues introduced a new comprehensive plan to prevent youth tobacco use. With the use of electronic cigarettes on the rise, vaping-related injuries are being reported in Minnesota and across the nation, but many young people remain unaware of the health risks associated with e-cigarettes.
Big Tobacco is using child-friendly flavors and misinformation about the safety of vaping products to market e-cigarettes to young Minnesotans, particularly those in communities of color. The House DFL’s new plan addresses these tactics by banning flavored products and creating an Office of Youth Prevention and Protection that is dedicated to keeping children and teens safe and healthy. The new office would carry out a statewide education campaign to inform Minnesotans about the health risks associated with e-cigarette use. Additionally, our plan increases taxes on cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products, and expands cessation resources that help Minnesotans break free from addiction. You can read more in the StarTribune’s coverage here.
Minnesota Values Project
The Minnesota Values Project is an ongoing partnership between Minnesotans and the Legislature. We’re working together to create a shared vision for the future of our state, and your input is an important part of this process! You can let us know what’s important to you, your community, and Minnesota by taking a quick survey here.
Climate Action Caucus Update
Last week, the House Climate Action Caucus kicked off a series of public events with a conversation about transportation. One of our goals as a caucus is bringing people with different backgrounds and areas of expertise together. We’re holding these public hearings so Minnesotans can join legislators and experts at the table and be part of creating a bold plan to combat climate change.
The first community conversation was dedicated to transportation because it’s the largest source of Minnesota’s greenhouse gas emissions. There was a great discussion about this with several experts and the Minnesotans who joined us. Some of the potential solutions we discussed were expanding public transportation, supporting electric vehicles, and promoting biofuels. We’ll hear from housing experts on climate at our next public event on November 14, and start a much-needed discussion on future policy. Learn more details about it here.
Historic Fort Snelling-Bdote
I signed a letter, along with 43 of my colleagues, in support of changing the name to include the place name at Historic Fort Snelling - Bdote. It is important that as a state, we acknowledge and embrace the historic significance at the site we call Fort Snelling, located on sacred lands of those who lived there long before settlers arrived and before this land was renamed Minnesota by its colonizers. By including “Bdote” in the name of the site, the state’s historical society rightfully recognizes the significance of the multiple histories at that place that is inclusive of more Minnesotans.
Keep in Touch
Please reach out with any questions or feedback. I appreciate hearing from you!