I hope this email finds you and yours well. With vaccination rates increasing and COVID-19 cases trending downward, a return to a normal summer is looking more and more likely.
Our work continues in the state legislature. Minnesota’s portion of the federal American Rescue Plan dollars arrived in the state in early May, which allowed House and Senate Majorities, along with the governor, to reach a bipartisan agreement on budget ‘targets’, or our general framework on May 17. Although we have officially adjourned to meet our constitutional deadline, legislators haven’t stopped working to craft the finer details of the budget. Our current timeline has us working towards a special session in early or mid-June.
I was interested to learn that Minnesota established the 120-day legislative session in 1973 - nearly 50 years ago. Our state has changed and grown significantly since then, and I believe we should consider updating legislative operations that can allow us to address the needs of a modern society with 5.7 million people and responsibly manage a budget that tops $50 billion in a timely fashion. It may be time to revisit the calendar and size of the state legislature to meet Minnesota's needs more effectively.
PSYPACT Legislation Signed into Law
Early this week, Governor Walz signed the PSYPACT legislation into law. Enacting the bill into law comes at a critical time in our state's history because the pandemic exacerbated the huge unmet need for mental health care in Minnesota. This new law will help address mental health care accessibility gaps and expand access to psychologists so that Minnesotans can get the care they need and deserve. I am proud to chief author this important bipartisan initiative.