With more snow recently arriving, I know our area sports teams continue to wait patiently for the snow to melt. Hopefully the baseball and softball fields, golf courses, tracks, and tennis courts, will soon be clear so our athletes can get their seasons underway.
Yesterday afternoon, 6th graders from Staples-Motley were in St. Paul for a tour of the Capitol. It was great to have the opportunity to greet the group after their tour as well as to share some information about the legislature with them. Field trips to the Capitol are a great way for students to learn more about government and spark an interest in civic engagement.
The legislature was focused primarily on committee work this week as omnibus finance bills were assembled and approved by their respective committees. These bills will be coming to the House floor in the coming weeks to be voted on by the House as a whole.
Education Omnibus Bill
Among the bills passed in committee this week is the Education omnibus bill, which focuses heavily on improving school safety. It includes an all-of-the-above approach to give school districts the resources and flexibility they need to address student safety and security. The package includes expanding the use of long-term facilities maintenance revenue for facility security upgrades, strengthening our commitment to school-linked mental health grants, supporting suicide prevention training for teachers, and increasing funding for Safe Schools Revenue. In total, the bill proposes investing more than $27 million in school safety initiatives.
Other provisions in the bill would increase transparency in a number of areas, provide special education funding, and address teacher misconduct and teacher licensure. This legislation is a win for Minnesota’s schools and students and was approved by the Education Finance Committee (on which I serve) with broad, bipartisan support. I am proud to support this bill and am looking forward to its arrival on the floor for a full House vote.
Food Shelf Donation
In early March I participated in the Minnesota Grocer’s Association Bipartisan Bag Off. This event raised $12,500 for Minnesota’s Second Harvest food bank and featured legislators from both parties competing to fill grocery bags with various food items. I ended up winning the contest and, as a result, received $1,000 to donate to a local food shelf in our area. Last week I joined the Minnesota Grocer’s Association in making that donation to the Morrison County Food Shelf. I enjoyed participating in the event and am glad I am able to make a difference in our community with this donation.
If you have any questions or concerns about what’s happening in St. Paul, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-4247. My door is always open, and I appreciate your feedback and input.
Have a great weekend,