The 2021legislative session adjourned early Thursday morning with the successful passage of our two-year budget. We worked hard to negotiate a fair budget to help Minnesotans recover from the past year and thrive in the future. Our compromise budget invests in all Minnesotans but aims to help those most hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic - students, businesses, workers, and families. Earlier today, Gov. Walz signed the remaining budget bills into law. You can read my statement here.
Our budget made historic increases in funding for public schools and preservation of all day pre-K for 4,000 preschoolers. As vice-chair of the Early Childhood Committee and a negotiator of the final Education budget, I am proud of the collaborative, compromise final product. The positive impact the budget will have on our students cannot be overstated. Historic investments in our students now and going forward will give our students a bright future, no matter where they live or what they look like. You can read my news release here.
Here are some other highlights of the budget:
- Investments in access to affordable childcare for families and increased funding for providers
- A plan to prevent an eviction crisis and expand access to affordable housing
- Targeted tax cuts for workers and small businesses harmed by the pandemic
- Financial support for frontline workers who risked their own health to keep the rest of us safe during the pandemic
- Investments to improve public health and reduce racial disparities in health care
- Better access to reliable public transit and investments in roads, bridges, and rail
- Substantial reforms to sexual assault laws to help survivors get justice
- Measures to reform policing and increase accountability
- Investments in families who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness
- An overdue pay raise for PCAs and support for home- and community-based services to help people live independently
- Substantial investments to reduce racial disparities and improve equity
- Funding for the Market Bucks program to provide healthy and affordable farmers’ market produce to SNAP/EBT users
- Grants to schools to install solar energy reducing energy costs and the carbon footprint
To read more about a particular area of the budget, you can click on the following links for a nonpartisan summary from House Public Information Services: Legacy; Agriculture and Broadband; Higher Education; Transportation; Housing; Environment and Natural Resources; Jobs and Labor; E-12 Education; Health and Human Services; Public Safety and Judiciary; State Government, Elections, and Veterans; Commerce, Climate, and Energy; and Taxes.
TOWN HALL NEXT TUESDAY
Please join Sen. Cwodzinski, Rep. Kotyza-Witthuhn and me for a virtual Town Hall next Tuesday, July 6. We’ll talk about the recently completed legislative session and get your feedback on what the budget. You can submit questions ahead of time here. We do ask that you provide your name and address, that way we can be sure we’re hearing from and prioritizing constituents’ comments and concerns.
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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 Vaccine Connector, 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
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.