A special session to pass a new two-year budget began on Monday. Minnesota’s Democratic House and Republican Senate have been working to reach agreement on bills and are committed to passing a bipartisan budget that funds the priorities Minnesotans care about. Debate on the bills that have been agreed upon began yesterday. The House GOP Minority is using stalling tactics to slow down getting our two-year budget passed, but we remain committed to working with Senate Republicans, Governor Walz, and Minnesotans to complete our state budget. Some highlights of the bills we are considering this week:
Commerce, Climate and Energy Budget
Action on climate change makes environmental and economic sense. Our Climate and Energy bill includes provisions to help Minnesotans save on their energy bills. We also secured funding to install solar energy panels on schools, saving districts money and providing educational opportunities for students.
The final Commerce budget tackles the record-high catalytic converter theft problem with a series of reforms, giving law enforcement, scrap metal dealers, and consumers ways to deter thefts by making it harder to sell stolen parts. Minnesotans want action, not just bigger penalties.
Our Higher Education budget will serve students and families now and into the future, especially those hit hard during this unprecedented year. The Student Borrowers Bill of Rights requires student loan servicers operating in Minnesota to be licensed through the Department of Commerce, thus protecting borrowers from servicers that mislead or misrepresent payments.
As many as nine water-related fatalities have been reported and a higher-than-average number of drownings have occurred in our state this year. You can read tips from the DNR on how to be safe around the water. Our Legacy Finance bill also includes funding to teach at-risk kids how to swim, a skill that could help save lives throughout Minnesota.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
The Minnesota Department of Health reports more than 3 million of our friends and neighbors have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Check out Minnesota’s COVID-19 mn.gov/vaccineconnector, call 833-431-2053 or ask your health care provider to help you find where you can receive your vaccine.
Stay connected with the legislature
The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here.
Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so please don’t hesitate to call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook here. It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.