This week, the new economic forecast was announced, showing a $9.25 billion budget surplus for the current biennium. The analysis does not incorporate inflationary costs or the various impacts of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.
Despite these uncertainties, the strong budget forecast indicates our economy is heading in the right direction, but many of our neighbors are still struggling because of economic challenges brought on by the pandemic. We can improve the lives of all Minnesotans by investing in health care, clean energy infrastructure, education, and childcare costs. These investments not only solve immediate problems but set up our state for future success.
You can read more about the announcement on the Minnesota Management and Budget webpage.
This week, I presented my bill to make permanent the reprioritization of the waiting list for basic sliding fee childcare assistance. This change allows more families to access quality care for their children while parents can participate in Minnesota’s workforce, directly impacting our economy and the prosperity of our communities. You can watch the presentation and testimony on my Facebook page.
I also presented legislation which I brought forward after meeting with leaders from the Eden Prairie school district. The bill would allow schools to increase funding to extended day programs by expanding the age range of children eligible to include 3- and 4-year-olds in preschool programs. This funding is directed to students with special needs to ensure they have access to the support they need outside of school hours. Dr. Shawn Hoffman-Bram of Eden Prairie Schools testified.
SW Light Rail
Thursday, the Minnesota House, led by House DFLers, overwhelmingly voted to authorize the Office of Legislative Auditor (OLA) to conduct a special review of the Southwest light rail (LRT) project to examine the reasons the project is delayed and for the significant costs increases. Minnesotans who have been waiting for the Southwest Light Rail Project for nearly a decade deserve accountability.
We are now in our second month of the legislative session and your input is still very important. This is the last week of my legislative survey. Please take a moment to complete and share your thoughts.
Women’s History Month
March is Women’s History Month and we set aside the month to recognize the significant contributions women in elected office have made to Minnesota.
Getting the COVID-19 vaccination and booster can keep you and your family safe.
If you’re not feeling well, get tested. You can still order up to four free COVID tests for your household. Go to https://www.covidtests.gov/ to get your test kits and many more resources.
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. To track bills of interest through the legislative process, I encourage you to utilize the MyBills feature on the Minnesota House of Representatives’ website 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.