I hope everyone is staying safe and warm. It’s official, this is the snowiest February on record for Minnesota. I hope you can take some time from shoveling the driveway to read some updates from the State Capitol.
Budget and Bonding for One Minnesota
Governor Tim Walz released his budget and bonding proposals for the next two years. These proposals make Minnesota stronger, smarter, and more prosperous. While Governor Walz has singled out many worthy projects, I'll be working with my colleagues to ensure that funding for the Rochester Airport and Hwy 14 also receive attention.
You might remember Hwy 14 from last year's Bonding bill. Due to a technical error, funding was not able to be allocated, but I'm happy to say funding is again moving quickly through the legislature, being reviewed in both House and Senate committees this week.
You can read more about Governor Walz’s “Budget for One Minnesota” here.
Parks & Trails
Two bills of mine recently received a hearing in the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee. HF 384 and HF 450 would fund the Willow Creek Trail and the Cascade Lake Regional Park respectively. Thank you to Mayor Kim Norton who came to her old stomping grounds to testify for these bills. Both of these projects would be a benefit to our community, and I’m happy to say they both have been laid over for future consideration. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on these projects.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
A popular proposal to provide all Minnesotans with Paid Family and Medical Leave won a major victory last week. HF 5, a bill I’m proud to co-author, received and passed through a public hearing in the Commerce Committee. This legislation is part of the House DFL Majority’s top 10 priority bills, better known as the Minnesota Values Plan. All Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to be successful, but too many have to choose between work and taking care of a new baby, a loved one, or themselves. We need to make this choice easier with Paid Family Leave.
Equal Rights Amendment
Last week, another piece of legislation that I’ve co-authored passed a hurdle here at the State Capitol. The bill, HF 13, would put the Equal Rights Amendment on the 2020 ballot in Minnesota. The amendment would read “Equality under the law shall not be abridged or denied on account of gender,” a simple enough fix that has a storied history in our state and country.
Minnesotans deserve nothing less than constitutional equality and a government that upholds our basic values of fairness. Our state should work for all of us, no matter what we look like or who we are. The bill recently passes the Judiciary and Civil Law Committee. You can read more about the ERA here.
How to Contact Me
I believe our work at the State Capitol is at its best when it’s inclusive and collaborative, and I want to hear from you. You can reach me at (651) 296-9249, firstname.lastname@example.org, and my office is Room 593 in the State Office Building in St. Paul.