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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

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Budget Negotiations Enter Final Stages

Monday, June 21, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

The Legislature convened a special session on June 14 and we have been hard at work in final negotiations crafting bipartisan budget bills that will fund our state for the next two years. Details on the overall budget agreement and where the Legislature currently is in the process can be found here.

Current Status of Budget Bills

We’ve reached bipartisan compromise on most budget areas. Here are the bills we have passed thus far.

  • Higher Education: Makes investments to ensure students can recover from the unprecedented challenges they’ve faced over the past year. It will help ensure young people have the ability to thrive as they move forward in the post-pandemic workforce.
  • Agriculture: Invests in emerging farmer outreach, urban and youth agriculture, the Farm-to-School initiative, Good Food Access, and funding for environmentally-friendly production practices and conservation techniques.
  • Legacy: Invests proceeds from the voter-approved constitutional amendment to protect and enhance Minnesota's outdoor heritage, clean water, arts and cultural heritage, and parks and trails. This year’s bill includes water safety grants, including funding to provide scholarships to low-income and at-risk children. Here are some tips from the Minnesota DNR so everyone can enjoy the water safely on a boat, at the beach, or in a pool.

There are several budget bills that have been agreed to but still need to be heard, debated, and discussed on the House Floor. So far, bipartisan agreement has been reached on the following bills:

  • Climate, Energy & Commerce (We expect to pass this bill today, Monday 6/21)
  • Taxes
  • Transportation
  • Housing
  • Jobs

Several other budget bills remain but we expect they will be wrapped up soon to avoid  government shutdown.

Support for Drink Local Legislation Supporting Minnesota Businesses

I recently participated in a press conference to share my support for the Drink Local bill, HF 1192. Unfortunately, passing legislation related to liquor law is notoriously challenging at the Minnesota Legislature. As I stated at the press conference, our liquor laws have been dictated by what lobbyists were able to agree to for too long. My constituents can know that I put their voices first and will continue to fight for modernization of this industry. This article further explains why some types of bills are harder to pass than others: Why Some Seemingly Popular Issues Never Come Up for a Vote at the Minnesota Legislature.

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Continues to Spread

CWD has continued to infect captive herds throughout Minnesota. We have to take greater action to regulate deer farms to prevent the spread of this terrible disease to ensure the health of our wild deer herd. I authored legislation to do just that, but further action has yet to be taken. One facility was even dumping carcasses on public land, potentially harming our natural environment and costing taxpayers money.

Direct Scheduling for Vaccinations is Still Available

We still have a ways to go to ensure we can return to full normalcy this summer. Minnesotans can now use the Vaccine Connector to directly schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments at the state’s Community Vaccination Program locations, including children ages 12 and older. You can visit VaccineConnector.mn.gov to directly schedule appointments at Community Vaccination locations around the state. Here is how you can get your shot:

The Governor launched the new "Your Shot to Summer" program, offering a list of great incentives to those who get their first COVID-19 shot May 27- June 30. This is to help us get above the 70% total vaccinations so we can have a safe and open summer. Learn more about this great opportunity here, mn.gov/covid19/summer

Stay in Touch

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance or if you have questions or feedback that you’d like to share. You can follow me on Facebook here and you can reach me by email at rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-7153. 

Sincerely, 

Jamie Becker-Finn
State Representative

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