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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 26, 2019

Friday, April 26, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

We’re back on the House floor this week after our Easter and Passover recess. The bulk of our work has been on debating, amending, and passing budget bills, and it’ll be more of the same next week. Here’s an update on the budget bills we’ve been working on, and the highlights of those bills.

 

E-12 Education

This was our first major finance bill this week. All of our students deserve access to a world-class education, and to that end the House DFL is making a historic investment in Minnesota’s students across the state.

Highlights of the E-12 budget include state-wide increases in per-pupil funding, an expansion of career and technical programs, and increased access to mental health, housing, and community services for our students. I'm also proud that legislation I authored was included in the budget, including a provision giving more local control over to our school boards, and another extending the School Safety Technical Assistance Center and Council.


Jobs & Energy

Too many Minnesotans have had to choose between work and caring for a baby, loved one, or themselves. Our Jobs & Energy budget offer solutions like Paid Family & Medical leave and Earned Sick & Safe Time to support our working families.

We’re also setting the ambitious goal of 100% clean energy in Minnesota by 2050. Minnesota is one of the fastest-warming states in the country, and we’re already experiencing profound impacts of climate change. Our floor debate showed how far we still have to go in unanimously accepting climate change, but that won’t stop us from taking steps to address it. Other important components of this bill include:

  • Wage Theft Prevention & Enforcement

  • Net Neutrality

  • Solar on Schools

 

Health and Human Services

Yesterday we finished our debate on the House floor for our Health and Human Services budget (HHS). The HHS budget reduces the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs by holding Big Pharma accountable and leveraging the state’s purchasing power, protects our elders and most vulnerable adults from abuse and neglect, takes serious action to address the surge in youth tobacco use, and overall expands access to affordable health care.

 

Taxes

The last bill we passed yesterday was our Tax bill, which is an important step towards providing Minnesotans with real tax reform, one that builds a future for our state and creates a tax code that’s fair for everyone. We’re providing benefits for Minnesota’s working families through tax cuts and investments, including the Working Family Credit that will provide $80 million in tax cuts to over 380,000 Minnesotans. We’re also investing in:

  • Direct property tax assistance

  • Social Security tax cuts

  • Increases to tax credits for small businesses


Today's debate focused on the Agriculture & Housing and Transportation budgets, both important bills that carry the principles of our Minnesota Values Budget and work to build a stronger Minnesota that is moving forward.

 

Stay In Touch

As we continue to work on Minnesota’s budget, I want to hear your questions and comments on the legislative process. Feel free to contact me atrep.mike.freiberg@house.mn or (651) 296-4176.

Sincerely,

Mike Freiberg

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