|An update is available in Hmong here, Somali here, and Spanish here.
Members from the House and Senate have continued to meet in conference committees that are dedicated to reconciling differences between sections of our House and Senate state budgets.
In some cases, the differences are pretty big. As Chair of the State Government committee, I've led our negotiations and asked the Senate to appropriate the full $6.6 million given to Minnesota by the federal government to keep our elections safe from outside interference. Without giving a reason why, the Senate has continued to stubbornly refuse appropriating the money, even though all 49 other states have. With a week left of the legislative session, it's important that the Senate gets serious about protecting and securing our elections. You can always follow along by watching here.
We're also far apart on education funding. These graphs are a comparison of House and Senate education budgets for the school districts in our community. Our budget was inspired by the teachers, students, parents, and administrators who have spoken out at the legislature about the need for more school funding to make sure that all Minnesota students have access to a great education.
While we met in conference committees last week, we also passed several important bills off the House floor.
We passed a Housing Policy bill on the floor last week. There is a growing affordable housing crisis in Minnesota - in our budget we invest in everything from homelessness, rental assistance programs, housing preservation, new development and affordable homeownership. The Housing policy bill contains provisions that strengthen tenant’s rights and ensure mutuality in their relationship with their landlords; modify expungements for evictions cases; and require longer affordability for state financed housing projects. Everyone in Minnesota deserves a safe home, that they can afford.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. It's the third-leading cause of death for Native women. Nobody knows exactly how many are victims of violence, and nobody knows exactly how many women go missing across the nation.
Last week my colleagues and I unanimously passed a bill to create a state task force to address the endemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Minnesota. Behind every victim of violence was a family and community that marched, spoke out, and fought for change at the Capitol, and I was proud to be among my colleagues who voted unanimously for it to pass.
Please reach out if there’s anything I can do for you, or if you have questions as the session winds down. Have a great week.
Rep. Michael V. Nelson