Thank you to everyone who came to our town hall event last week! I appreciated all of your great questions and ideas for our community and state.
During my first year as your state representative, my top priority was ensuring that the state budget reflects the values we share. I fought to make strong investments in our students, protect the health of Minnesotans, and ensure economic security. Here’s a summary of some of the things that I helped accomplish:
Investing in Our Students
I successfully fought for strong investments in our students and prevented teacher and staff layoffs, larger class sizes, and higher costs for local taxpayers. The E-12 education budget freezes the special education cross-subsidy – the gap between the cost of providing special education services and what state and federal funding covers – to help schools meet the needs of all students. It also protects access to voluntary pre-kindergarten for 4,000 of Minnesota’s youngest learners.
The higher education budget will create new opportunities for past, present, and future Minnesota students. I’m excited that the budget provides new mental health services and other resources for students at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. Students who are currently enrolled in the state grant program will receive more financial assistance, and others will become eligible for the first time. It also provides counseling to help borrowers pay off their student debt.
Access to Affordable, High Quality Health Care
All Minnesotans deserve to get the care they need when they need it. I helped preserve health care access for 1.2 million people by securing permanent funding for the Health Care Access Fund. I also prevented efforts to eliminate dental and vision services for adults and protected 30,000 children from cuts that would make it more difficult for many Minnesota families to afford child care.
Lower Taxes for Middle-Class Minnesotans
I’m very proud of our bipartisan tax bill. We cut taxes for more than 1.9 million taxpayers and simplified the filing process for most Minnesotans by doubling the standard deduction. We also lowered the income tax rate for the first time in two decades. The plan reduces taxes on Social Security benefits, expands tax credits for working families and small businesses, and increases local government aid so communities can invest in streets, public safety, and other improvements without relying on property tax increases.
I’m proud of these accomplishments, but there’s more work to be done. In the coming months, I look forward to talking with you about how we can keep Minnesota moving forward.
If you’d like to share your thoughts, I’ll be at Marketfest next week and on Thursdays throughout the summer. I hope to see you there!