We’ve been working hard at the State Capitol, and I want to update you on recent events.
Investing in Minnesota
On Monday, the House advanced our Legacy Committee finance bill. As Chair of this committee, I am proud to bring forth legislation preserving some of our state's most treasured places. Minnesota voters passed the Legacy Amendment in because all of us want our state to be a great place to live, work, and play. We are proud of our great outdoors and want to be thoughtful stewards of the land around us. This bill is a continuation of that commitment.
We also made substantial investments in the arts, ensuring funding for regional libraries, community identity & heritage grants, Minnesota Public Radio, Minnesota Public Television, science museums, children’s museums, water safety grants, and so much more.
The Minnesota House also approved legislation ratifying the 2020-21 Minnesota Law Enforcement Association contract and the 2022-23 contracts with AFSCME, MAPE, Middle Management Association, the State Residential Schools Education Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, and employees covered under the compensation plans (such as the Managerial Plan and Commissioners Plan). The MLEA contract includes a 2.25% across the board increase in FY20, a 2.5% increase in FY21, and incorporates legislative increases that were passed last session.
Minnesota has amazing State Workers who have carried a very heavy load during this Covid journey. Minnesota has continually been one of the best-run states in the nation because of them. It's time we have the backs of the over 39,000 employees who have had ours for so long and I am proud to stand beside them as the author of this bill.
Standing with Ukraine
We have all watched in horror the tragic images from Ukraine. This is the biggest geopolitical challenge since the Cold War, and it’s important that we stand up for freedom, democracy, and peace.
Recently, legislators took a stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine by passing a bill that requires Minnesota to divest of all direct holdings of Russian assets – with a unanimous vote.
Since the government of Belarus was complicit in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the bill requires the state to divest of Belarusian assets as well. This will primarily impact the state pension funds. The bill also codifies an Executive Order Governor Walz issued to bar state agencies from contracting with Russian companies.
Investing in Local Projects
Recently, I co-authored legislation that would provide much-needed funding to local communities in Washington County.
H.F. 3978 delivers funding for the Washington County Heritage Center to complete the construction of the building in order to add storage that will preserve artifacts. The Washington County Heritage Center is a wonderful resource that provides the opportunity for residents to learn more about their area’s rich history, and build a sense of community heritage. I encourage everyone to visit, and I’m proud to advance this legislation.
Among other investments into our community, I am proud to have authored a bill that will invest in a new Tubman facility in Maplewood. This organization directly serves families and survivors who are experiencing an unsafe home with safe shelter, childcare, and legal services so they can finally live in peace and prosper.
Hometown Heroes Assistance
We owe a debt of gratitude to first responders, and I was happy to support the Hometown Heroes bill last year, providing Minnesota firefighters more access to education and healthcare.
Despite these advancements, we know is more work to do. With this in mind, the House passed an update to the program, providing firefighters with free access to emotional trauma resources, up to $20,000 from critical illness insurance policies, and ongoing health and wellness training. We all have a responsibility to be there for our heroes.
Increasing ALS Funding
Every year, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects about 30,000 Americans and, every year, about 5,000 new cases are diagnosed. Last year, Minnesota State Senator David Tomassoni came public with his diagnosis, and has worked tirelesssly to advocate for additional funding into the cruel disease. Last week, the Minnesota House passed Senator Tomassoni’s bipartisan legislation, investing $20 million in research of, as well as caregiver support and respite services grants.
Keep in Touch
If you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, please don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com or give me a call at (651) 296-1188.