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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - June 22, 2021

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Dear neighbors,  

I’m happy to report that we passed three bills over the weekend. Theatrics from House Republicans have delayed our progress since we gaveled in for a special session last week, but we won’t allow our colleagues to distract from the work Minnesotans elected us to do. House DFLers are committed to finding common ground on outstanding issues and wrapping up the special session quickly. While there’s more work to be done, I’m confident we’ll pass a state budget to help Minnesotans recover from the pandemic and thrive once it’s behind us.   

Hansen 6.22 (1)

I took this photo from the Capitol loggia during one of our late-night floor sessions last week. 


Legacy Budget  

The Legacy bill was the first legislation we approved this weekend. It’s a bipartisan bill that invests $645.6 million in the outdoors, clean water, arts and culture, and parks and trails. These investments are funded by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment, which has generated more than $4 billion since voters approved it in 2008. They will benefit people and communities across the state by:  

  • Protecting and enhancing prairies, wetlands, forests, and habitat  
  • Restoring lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater, and drinking water sources  
  • Supporting and expanding access to the arts and arts education 
  • Preserving our state’s rich history and cultural heritage  
  • Maintaining and improving parks and trails  

Agriculture Budget  

The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly challenging for many farmers. The bipartisan Agriculture budget, which we approved on Saturday, provides tools so they can recover from the past year and succeed well into the future. In addition to supporting current farmers, it invests in the future of agriculture. In order for agriculture in Minnesota to thrive, we need new farmers to join the industry. Our budget includes resources for those who haven’t had direct avenues to the field, including young people, people in urban areas, and BIPOC Minnesotans. It also invests in environmentally-friendly food production practices and the development of new markets.  


Higher Education Budget  

All Minnesotans deserve a world-class education, no matter where they live or what they look like. In addition to providing critical funding for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State colleges and universities, our Higher Education budget makes new investments in the State Grant Program. This will help more than 75,000 students and expand access to nearly 3,000 people. The budget supports students and families, with funds to help them recover from pandemic-related challenges and prepare for the future.  


Pollinator Week  

June 21-27 is Pollinator Week! This annual event highlights the importance of bees, birds, butterflies, and other pollinators. These species play a critical role in our ecosystems and food supply. Unfortunately, pollinator populations are declining worldwide. I’m fighting for these species as a legislator and a Minnesotan, and I hope that you’ll join me. The Board of Water and Soil Resources’ website has several resources for people who want to protect our pollinators, including a wealth of information about creating pollinator habitats.  

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In honor of Pollinator Week, DFL and Republican members of the House committee I chair distributed pollinator-friendly plants yesterday!  


The House will pass several important bills in the coming days. If you have any questions about what I’m working on, please feel free to reach out. You can contact me at rep.rick.hansen@house.mn or 651-296-6828.  

Sincerely,  

Rick Hansen  
State Representative

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