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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL)

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Happy Holidays from the Capitol

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Rep. Wagenius

Dear neighbors, 

As 2019 comes to a close, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy holiday season! I hope you’re able to spend some extra time with your loved ones in the coming weeks.  


Second Saturdays

My next Second Saturday is just around the corner. My monthly meetings are an opportunity to share ideas and discuss issues that are important to our community. They are open to all community members.

When: Saturday, December 14 from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Where: Mayflower Church, 100 E. Diamond Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55419

If you have any questions, please contact Zach at zach.zimmerman@house.mn.


November Budget Forecast

Last Thursday, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released the November economic forecast. It showed a predicted balance of $1.3 billion for 2020-2021, indicating that Minnesota is in a strong financial position but may face significant budget deficits in the future. When inflation is taken into consideration, the forecast highlights challenges that could undermine our ability to provide world-class schools, safe and reliable roads and transit, high-quality health care, and other services that Minnesotans deserve. We need to make smart investments in these core values in order to build a better Minnesota for us all.

If you’d like to read more about the economic forecast, MPR’s coverage is available here. More specifics are available at MMB’s website.


Climate Action Caucus Update

The Climate Action Caucus recently held two community conversations dedicated to the intersection of climate and housing and public health. During these public events, we focused on issues that impact many Minnesotans but are disproportionately borne by low-income communities and communities of color. For example, affording heating bills during the winter is particularly challenging for disadvantaged Minnesotans, and asthma rates are higher in neighborhoods with highways going through them. We need to find solutions to the climate crisis that address these disparities.

Our next community conversation will focus on environmental issues. If you’d like more information about upcoming events and the Climate Action Caucus, please visit our new website.

Wagenius 12.11 (1)

Last week, Governor Walz launched an initiative that will complement the work we’re doing in the House. He created a Climate Change Subcabinet and Governor’s Advisory Council on Climate Change to build on existing climate initiatives, help state agencies collaborate, and guide the Walz-Flanagan Administration.  


Cold Weather Rule and Other Resources

Nearly half of all households are forced to forego other necessities to pay heating bills at some point in the year. If you or someone you know is struggling to afford energy bills, there are resources available to help. The Cold Weather Rule, which went into effect in October, protects people from having their heat shut off. There are energy assistance programs that help renters and homeowners pay for heating costs and furnace repairs, and the Weatherization Assistance Program provides free home upgrades that help save energy and permanently reduce energy bills.

More information about the Cold Weather Rule is available here. You can read more about the Energy Assistance Program and the Weatherization Assistance Program here and here. Please share this information with family, friends, and neighbors and remember to watch out for one another this winter.

If you’re not able to make it to Second Saturday, please feel free to call or email me to share your thoughts. You can contact me at rep.jean.wagenius@house.mn or 651-296-4200.

Sincerely,

Jean Wagenius
State Representative

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