I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. It’s hard to believe December is already here!
Here’s an update from the Capitol:
November Budget Forecast
Yesterday, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the 2019 November Budget and Economic Forecast, showing a one-time balance of $1.332 billion for the current biennium.
The state budget forecast reflects current law, and is based on the most recent information about the national and state economic outlook. What this estimate does not include is the rate of inflation in future years. Inflation could account for $1.221 billion.
While Minnesota’s budget remains relatively stable, federal uncertainty threatens the economic outlook for our state and Minnesota families. It’s important to exercise caution; that’s why I have been consistently supporting legislation that would include the rate of inflation in these economic forecasts. The goal is to give more accurate numbers, helping us enact wise budgeting and smart investments Minnesotans deserve.
In 2017, I championed state funds to support a new building for The Family Partnership, a long time mental health and social service provider in Minneapolis. They offer a variety of services, but have long prioritized working with the Native American community in providing culturally relevant prekindergarten programming, and have been very active in supporting people coming out of trafficking.
The have secured a site at Bloomington and East Lake and have been engaged with the community on the building. They are offering an opportunity to learn more about what has been incorporated into the building design, share thoughts on the building's exterior features, and discuss how to further utilize the building. Here are the details:
- Monday, December 9 at 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the Walker Community Church, 3104 16th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407
Dinner will be served, so please RSVP to email@example.com so we can plan accordingly. The presentation will be in English and Spanish. If another form of interpretation is helpful, please email the address above so we can make arrangements.
If you don’t get a chance to RSVP, please come anyway! Your feedback is appreciated.
Lawns to Legumes is now open to accept applications!
Lawns to Legumes is a new program available to homeowners that offers a combination of workshops, coaching, planting guides and cost-share funding for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings. It also prioritizes areas of habitat for the new Minnesota state bee, the federally endangered Rusty Patched Bumblebee.
Pollinators play a key role in pollinating many food crops and native plants, but populations have significantly declined worldwide in recent years. Population decline can be attributed to habitat loss and lack of related nutrition for pollinators, as well as pesticide use and pathogens.
Two types of grants are available:
- Cost-sharing grants include up to $350 reimbursement for Residential Individual Support Grants for installing pollinator-friendly native plantings in residential lawns. Residents can apply online at Blue Thumb’s website: https://tinyurl.com/yx6253zj.
- Demonstration Neighborhood Grants are cost-sharing grants for $20,000-$40,000 available to local governments, tribal governments and nonprofits to establish community projects intended to enhance pollinator habitat in key corridors, raise awareness for residential pollinator protection, and showcase best practices. RFP available here: https://tinyurl.com/rhpp44g.
In addition, there is information on the Board of Soil and Water Resources (BWSR) website for anyone interested in switching to a native, pollinator-friendly yard. You can access the site here: https://tinyurl.com/vqvrv9r.
Medical cannabis program to add chronic pain, macular degeneration as qualifying conditions
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recently announced it will add chronic pain and age-related macular degeneration as new qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program. Under state law, the new conditions will take effect in August 2020.
MDH also approved two new delivery methods to give patients more options. The new methods being added are water-soluble cannabinoid multi-particulates (for example, granules, powders and sprinkles) and orally dissolvable products such as lozenges, gums, mints, buccal tablets and sublingual tablets.
The program’s two medical cannabis manufacturers will double the number of patient cannabis treatment centers in accordance with legislation passed during the 2019 Minnesota Legislative Session. These new sites will mean greater access to cannabis treatment centers. The manufacturers selected eight locations for additional centers. Leafline Labs has proposed centers in Willmar, Mankato, Golden Valley and Rogers, while Minnesota Medical Solutions has proposed centers in Woodbury, Blaine, Duluth and Burnsville.
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm said the changes give patients more options, particularly in light of concerns about potential health impacts of e-cigarettes and vaping.
Be heard on adult-use cannabis legalization
The DFL House, along with the Walz Administration, are moving forward in a very thoughtful, deliberative process towards legalizing the adult-use of marijuana in Minnesota. Please join Majority Leader Winkler, Representatives Hodan Hassan and Aisha Gomez and myself to have your voice heard in the process. Here are the details:
- Wednesday, December 18, 7:00 p.m. at the East Phillips Park Cultural & Community Center, 2307 17th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN