Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.
Neighbors and Friends,
Monday, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved the supplemental Housing budget, which aims to reduce housing costs throughout the state. The legislation makes historic investments to ensure all Minnesotans have a safe and affordable place to call home.
Affordable housing is a fundamental need, and our Housing budget makes wide-ranging investments throughout Minnesota. The legislation addresses the most persistent housing costs and helps those in perilous housing situations achieve a safe place to live. This legislation will have impacts now and in the future.
Investments contained in the legislation include:
Policy changes in the legislation include:
Additional significant housing investments exist or are expected to be included in other areas of legislation. The Housing session can be viewed on the House of Representatives’ YouTube channel. Documents for the Housing Finance & Policy can be found on the committee website.
Other budget bills we have already approved fund Housing, Agriculture and Broadband, State Government, Pensions and Transportation, Education, and Higher Education. As this update is sent, we are debating the Public Safety legislation. Several budget areas remain and will be discussed over the next week.
Frontline Pay Approved
Yesterday, House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement on the frontline worker bill. House DFLers fought to acknowledge the sacrifice of those who risked their health and safety during the pandemic. Despite opposition from Senate Republicans, we prevailed. As many as 667,000 workers will receive a $750 bonus.
At the same time, we are reimbursing the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to the level it was prior to the pandemic, averting an increase in taxes for our businesses. The House and Senate have each passed the legislation and it will go to Gov. Walz for his signature.
I was invited to participate in the Pioneer Public Television show Your Legislators last week to discuss our work at the Capitol. The other panelists were Sen. Gary Dahms of Redwood Falls, Sen. Steve Cwodzinski of Eden Prairie, and Rep. Eric Lucero of St. Michael. We had a lively discussion about the legislation before us and you can watch the program here.
Governor’s State of the State Address
On Sunday, Governor Walz delivered his 4th State of the State address in the House of Representatives chamber. Governor Walz was optimistic about our future and determined to work with the legislature to improve the lives of all Minnesotans. If you missed the speech, you can watch a rebroadcast here.
Avian Influenza Update
Cases of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI/H5N1) continue to show up in various Minnesota locations. The Raptor Center in St. Paul recommends removing bird feeders for now. For those who raise backyard chickens, keep the birds enclosed and separated from wildlife. Place mesh or tarps on the outside of the coop. Keep a lookout for any deceased birds or those in need of help – don’t touch the bird. Call the DNR, Raptor Center, or a new HPAI hotline at 1-833-454-0156 first for next steps.
The FDA has authorized a second booster shot for Americans over 50 and for those 12 years and older who are immunocompromised. You can read more from the U of M Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) recommendations here. If you have symptoms, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, after traveling, or if you’ve attended a high-risk event, please get tested to slow the spread of COVID-19. You can order free rapid at-home tests from the federal government at CovidTests.gov and from the state at mn.gov/covid19.
You can watch legislative sessions and committee hearings by going to this link on the Minnesota House of Representatives website.
The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services also offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, you can utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website.
I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can call me at (651) 296-3824 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.