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

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Legislative Update - June 30, 2021

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Dear neighbors,  

We're hours away from finalizing a state budget and wrapping up our work at the Capitol. In the House, we’ve passed the following bipartisan budget bills: LegacyAgriculture and BroadbandHigher EducationCommerce, Climate, and EnergyTransportationHousingEnvironment and Natural ResourcesJobs and LaborE-12 EducationHealth and Human ServicesPublic Safety and Judiciary; and State Government, Elections, and Veterans. If you’d like to read more about these bills, you can click on the links above to view a nonpartisan summary provided by House Public Information Services.  

Hansen 6.30.2021 (3)

My colleagues and I worked hard to make the new budget as strong and as equitable as possible. While the compromise budget we developed with Senate Republicans doesn’t go as far as the budget proposal House DFLers originally approved, it’s still a significant step forward. The investments in students, families, workers, and small businesses that we delivered will help Minnesotans recover from the past year and thrive in the future. Here are some of the highlights:  

  • A historic increase in funding for public schools and preservation of all day pre-K for 4,000 preschoolers
    • Thanks to this investment, South St. Paul Public Schools (SSD 6) will receive $374 more per student next year and $536 more the year after that. West St. Paul - Mendota Heights – Eagan Area Schools (ISD 197) will receive increases of $240 and $385 per student over the next two years.  
  • Financial support for frontline workers who risked their own health to keep the rest of us safe during the pandemic   
  • Investments in access to affordable child care for families and increased funding for providers 
  • Rental assistance for tenants and landlords and expanded access to affordable housing 
  • Tax cuts for workers and small businesses impacted by the pandemic 
  • Investments to improve public health and reduce racial disparities in health care 
  • Investments in transit, roads, bridges, and rail 
  • Substantial reforms to sexual assault laws to help survivors get justice  
  • Measures to reform policing and increase accountability 
  • Investments in families who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness 
  • An overdue pay raise for personal care attendants and additional support for home- and community-based services to help people live independently 
  • Substantial investments to reduce racial disparities and improve equity 
  • Funding for the Market Bucks program to provide healthy and affordable farmers’ market produce to SNAP/EBT users 

We’re hearing our final bill – the Taxes budget – this evening. If you’d like to watch the debate, a live video is available here. You can also follow my official Facebook page for updates from the Capitol.  


Hansen 6.30.2021 (2)

Governor Walz signed the Environment and Natural Resources budget into law yesterday!  


Metro Transit Receives Grant for Electric Buses 

In other good news, Metro Transit was recently awarded a federal grant of almost $4.2 million. The agency plans to use the Low- or No-Emissions grant to purchase eight more electric buses to use on core routes. The new buses will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent pollution and further impacts of climate change. You can read more about Metro Transit’s plan for the grant money here.  


Stay in Touch 

As the special session comes to an end, I’m looking forward to spending more time in our community over the next few months and to continuing conversations about how we can better ensure Minnesotans and communities across the state have the resources they need to succeed. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback. You can reach me by email at rep.rick.hansen@house.mn or by phone at (651) 296-6828.  

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend.  

Sincerely,  

Rick Hansen 
State Representative  

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