Dear Lakeville Neighbors,
As the 2019-2020 legislative biennium comes to a close, I wanted to share my deep appreciation for the trust and responsibility you have placed in me to represent you, your family, and our community in the Minnesota House of Representatives. I am committed to ensuring the interests and values of Lakeville are well represented and committed to providing leadership for the roads ahead.
Leadership for The Roads Ahead
We are now facing issues that are not only as challenging as anything I’ve seen during my six years in the legislature, but also some of the most challenging in the last thirty according to colleagues that are about to retire. We must look at our responsibility as statewide legislators and across political spectrums. The current issues of COVID-19 management, separation of powers, economic redevelopment and others are not policy items that we ran on or thought that we’d have to address, but they have since become our charge. I remain engaged to work in a bipartisan manner to develop sensible and balanced solutions for all Minnesotans and those in our district.
I have worked hard these last two years to advance legislation on several issues to improve the lives of folks in Lakeville and around Minnesota. Being a member of the minority party in the House presents a variety of challenges in terms of getting bills heard in committee or advanced through the legislative process. It forces members to reach across the aisle and develop the relationships needed to get your bills through and I am proud that I have taken the time over the past six years to cultivate those partnerships and friendships that have resulted in being elected as an Assistant Minority Leader, and more importantly to achieve important legislative results for you.
Here is a brief recap of a few issues I have worked on the last two years:
- Metro Mobility rides: Thanks to bill language I authored with Sen. Dan Hall, Metro Mobility will finally be available in Lakeville after nearly ten years of our community paying for a service that it did not receive. This will be tremendously beneficial for seniors who no longer can drive and folks with disabilities in our community. We found a cost savings method to fund this service.
- Lower Taxes: For the first time in twenty years, Minnesotans will see a reduction in their income tax rates as the second income tax tier will be reduced from 7.05% to 6.8%, thus keeping more money in Minnesotan’s paychecks and lowering the income tax rates for working families. I repeatedly offered legislation to lower income tax rates and I’m thrilled that this reduction has become law. I also co-authored bills to eliminate the taxation of social security income, and we reduced this tax for some filers.
- Wine and Beer to go: I am proud to have played a key role in a change to state law to allow restaurants and bars to sell pre-packaged alcoholic beverages both in carry-out and delivery. This simple change has helped thousands of bars and restaurants bring in additional revenue during Governor Walz’s mandated business closures. Remember, we also passed Sunday sales.
- Orange Line BRT and MN River Bridge: I authored the final state portion of funding for Bus Rapid Transit to reduce traffic and commuter congestion on Interstate 35W. Separately, I also authored a bill to expand capacity on the Minnesota River Bridge. Both projects are currently under construction and will make driving easier on this important commuter corridor.
- Transit Security: I have spearheaded efforts to improve transit security following a disturbing increase in assaults and robberies at Metro Transit. While we were not successful in our efforts this biennium, I will continue to push for reforms. It’s time to end the culture of crime tolerance at Metro Transit and equip law enforcement with the tools they need to make sure Minnesotans and their families are safe when using public transportation.
- Stopped Tax increases: My colleagues and I were successful in preventing nearly $12 billion in new tax increases from becoming law that had been proposed by Governor Walz and Democrats. We also stopped a proposed 70% gas tax increase and prevented no state operating costs for SW light rail.
- Education: I was proud to support all final education bills that increased funding for our schools by well over $2 billion since I was first elected. I also co-authored funding for Dakota County Technical College’s expansion of their transportation and emerging technologies renovation. I also supported and authored bipartisan legislation to reduce the achievement gap with students of color.
- Jobs: co-authored and supported a variety of bills helping youth skills training, workforce job training for displaced homemakers and those who have been out of the job market for a while. Co-authored performance grants for job placement and training and helped provide funding for new American’s job training in health care and hospitality industries.
- Health Care: Co-authored bill providing insulin coverage and prohibited dropping of coverage. Provided insurance premium relief and increased access. Increased competition in the individual markets, provided stability after companies were leaving the state with nation leading re-insurance.
As we look to future budget challenges, I am committed to continuing our work addressing fraud, waste, and abuse in state government. This includes leading the effort to provide accountability in all state agencies. As long as I am your representative, I will work tirelessly to ensure that your tax dollars are used wisely and efficiently. You can be assured that my dedication to being fully engaged and a leader at the Capitol, and to be your voice at the table, will continue as I work to find common areas of agreement to our most challenging issues.
I love our Lakeville community, please continue to reach out to me if I can be of assistance to you or your family. Your questions and comments help me better represent our community. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please stay updated on the latest information about legislative sessions and my work, I would encourage you to check out my official Facebook page or twitter. It’s my honor to provide leadership for the roads and many issues ahead. I look forward to being around town and in your neighborhoods soon.
Assistant Minority Leader
State Representative, Lakeville, 58A