I hope you and your family are staying safe and warm! I know the last two weeks of difficult weather and school closings have been challenging for many families (including mine!) but it’s a good reminder of how important it is for Minnesotans to watch out for each other.
I have been very busy at the Capitol! Please read the many updates below.
Town Hall Meeting on Feb. 23rd
I will be hosting a joint town hall meeting with Sen. Jason Issacson on Saturday, February 23rd at 10:00am at the Shoreview City Council Chambers (4600 Victoria St N). We will provide updates on the legislation we are working on and take questions from constituents!
Appointed to Outdoor Heritage Council
I was recently appointed to serve on the Outdoor Heritage Council! The Outdoor Heritage Council makes recommendations to the legislature about how to spend Legacy funds aimed at protecting, restoring, and enhancing wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife. Like many Minnesotans, I grew up hunting, fishing, and harvesting wild rice with my family, and I know how important these traditions are to other families throughout our state.
Learn more about the Outdoor Heritage Council here.
I recently attended the Little Canada Recreation Association annual ice fishing contest with my family. We didn’t win any prizes but had a great time. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this fun event happen!
Gender-Based Violence Prevention Week
It was an honor to stand with advocates and other elected officials to introduce a plan for preventing gender-based violence. In my job as a prosecutor, I have been deeply impacted by the stories and experiences of domestic violence survivors. It is important that we support survivors as they seek healing and pursue justice. My hope is that together, we can continue working towards meaningful change.
The plan includes many pieces of legislation. I’m a co-author of H.F. 70, which would create a Task Force on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. I am also supporting a proposal to require law enforcement agencies to develop better policies for sexual assault investigations—H.F. 327—and another that will repeal the so-called marital rape exception—H.F. 15. This Minnesota law prevents prosecutors from charging individuals with sexual misconduct of their spouse.
Fine Revenue Fairness for Suburban Cities
City staff from Roseville, Falcon Heights, Vadnais Heights, and Arden Hills testified in support of H.F. 113 last week. This bill corrects an inequity in the distribution of court fine revenue. Currently, suburban cities in Ramsey County receive a smaller percentage of fine revenue than any other municipalities in the state. This unfairness in the law was pointed out to me by local city staff so I decided we should fix it. Watch this hearing here.
Refundable Student Loan Tax Credit
More than 44 million people in the US collectively owe $1.5 trillion in student loans. In 2017, Minnesota passed a tax credit for student loan payments, but the credit wasn’t refundable. My bill, H.F. 502, would change that.
This legislation would make up to $500 refundable per filer. I think it is needed for individual families who could use the help. The first public hearing for H.F. 502 was Tuesday. Watch it here or read this story from Session Daily.
Back To School
I was recently featured on the “Back to School” segment on TPT’s Almanac at the Capitol. This fun little feature shares a little bit about my background attending a small public school “up north.” You can watch here.
Ride Along with Fire Department
Last month I spent an evening shadowing professional fire fighters to learn more about their jobs and the important role they play in keeping our community safe. This was the first in a year of “ride alongs” I’ll be participating in to learn about the many people providing services to our communities. Up next will be snow plow drivers!
As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I appreciate hearing from you!