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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jim Davnie (DFL)

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Legislative Update- April 6, 2022

Wednesday, April 6, 2022
Rep. Davnie


Dear Neighbors,

It’s hard to believe April is already here. If you’re celebrating Ramadan, I wish you peace and happiness during this month of blessings.




With less than seven weeks to go until the legislature adjourns, the pace at the Capitol has accelerated and priorities in the form of bills are taking shape.

Just today, we passed our K-12 education bill out of the Education Finance committee, using Minnesota’s historic budget surplus to provide $1.15 billion in additional education funding in 2023 and $2.12 billion in 2024 and 2025. Here are some highlights:

Mental Health Support

The bill’s mental health package, totaling $475 million, will address shortages of school support personnel that benefit students’ social, emotional, and physical health, and fund wrap-around services for students. Our proposal will allow schools to hire more than 1,000 additional counselors, social workers, school psychologists, school nurses, and chemical dependency specialists. 

Filling English Language Learning and Special Education Funding Gaps

Statewide, the difference between what it costs to provide special education services and what the state pays for those services is more than $700 million. The deficit in English Language Learner services is nearly $150 million. Our bill provides more than $500 million annually over the next three years to significantly reduce the amount school districts pay to make up for these shortfalls.

Creating a More Equitable Public Education System

In our bill, we’re expanding opportunities for people of color and Indigenous people to pursue a career in teaching by expanding Grow Your Own Teacher Training Programs, which benefits students of color and Indigenous students who can see themselves in their educators. Access to ethnic studies curriculum is included in our proposal. It also improves literacy and encourages schools to utilize non-exclusionary discipline practices. Data has linked declining graduation rates among Black students to expulsions and suspensions. 

Investing in our Youngest Learners

To help close the opportunity gap, we’re proposing the creation of a statewide voluntary prekindergarten program for children who are least likely to have access to early learning. The program is estimated to cost $525 million from 2023-2025.


Contrasting with the Senate

These major finance proposals are a blueprint of our values; how we choose to invest in our greatest resource in the state: our students. With a nearly $9.3 billion surplus, there is no excuse for the Senate’s inaction on delivering what our kids and families need now more than ever.

On April 1, Senate Republicans announced a plan to fund public education by an additional $30 million. Republicans’ proposal includes $0 for student mental health. This was no April Fools’ joke, although it’s shameful the Senate would bring a half-baked plan to Minnesotans at a critical time when our kids, families, and schools are relying on us to deliver. I’ll continue to advocate for a robust bill that gets our kids the resources they need to catch up, thrive, and be successful in and out of the classroom.


We’re also working on advancing important legislation off the House Floor. Here’s a look at some of those:


Standing with Ukraine

The past few weeks have been full of harrowing images from Ukraine as Russia continues their violent invasion. In what has been a conflict of ever-growing atrocities, my heart goes out to the Ukrainian people, including the 17,000 Ukrainian-Americans who call Minnesota home.

Last week, the Minnesota Legislature approved a bill with unanimous support to impose Minnesota sanctions on the Russian and Belarusian government for their invasion of Ukraine. The governor has signed the bill into law. KSTP covered the legislation and you can watch the story here.



Worker Safety 

On Thursday last week, the House approved a sweeping package of safety protections for workers at Minnesota warehouses, including Amazon facilities. Additionally, lawmakers approved legislation guaranteeing Earned Sick and Safe Time for all Minnesota workers, as well as a bill approving worker contracts for Minnesota state employees. You can read more about these measures from the Pioneer Press story here.



Precautions for Residents with Backyard Flocks

Avian influenza is harmful to poultry flocks especially if it’s highly pathogenic (HPAI). Please always remember to report any signs of disease to your state agency or veterinarian. Preventing disease is the best way to keep your flock healthy.

  • Separate your flock from disease sources including wildlife and wild birds.
  • Keep your poultry area and equipment clean.
  • Separate new or returning birds from your flock for at least 30 days.
  • Don’t share equipment between neighbors.

Keep in Touch

Next week the legislature will be on our annual Easter/Passover break and office will be closed on Friday, April 15.

Please continue to reach out anytime with questions, input or ideas at It’s an honor to serve our South Minneapolis residents and families in the Minnesota House. Thank you!

Have a great week,

Jim Davnie
State Representative