The Minnesota House of Representatives finished passing a new state budget and adjourned earlier today. I’m proud of the budget we approved and of the months of hard work we did with Minnesotans to ensure that it was as strong and equitable as possible. While the compromise budget we crafted following negotiations with Senate Republicans doesn’t include everything we would’ve liked, it’s still a significant step forward! The investments we delivered will help Minnesotans recover from a challenging year and thrive as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Improving Public Safety
Minnesotans deserve to be safe in their homes, schools, workplaces, and communities. The Public Safety and Judiciary budget we approved this week aims to improve police accountability, support community organizations working to improve safety and prevent violence, and build trust between law enforcement professionals and the people they serve. The bill also addresses economic inequalities in our criminal justice system.
I’m particularly excited about the provisions in this budget that will help survivors of sexual assault by:
Protecting Our Environment and Natural Resources
All Minnesotans deserve to have clean air, clean water, and plenty of places and opportunities to spend time outdoors. The Environment and Natural Resources budget – a bipartisan bill I helped develop – protects humans and wildlife from pollution, harmful chemicals, and other serious threats. It addresses several environmental issues, including chronic wasting disease (CWD) and invasive species like emerald ash borer (EAB), and creates more opportunities for children and teenagers to get outdoors and participate in recreational activities.
My bill to ban PFAS in food packaging was included in the budget! Reducing exposure to these harmful chemicals will help Minnesotans stay safe and healthy.
Expanding Access to Affordable Health Care
Our Health and Human Services budget aims to improve Minnesota’s health care system and expand access to affordable care. It invests in our public health infrastructure, strengthens mental and behavioral health services, addresses inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes, increases pay for personal care assistants (PCAs) who help people live independently, and more!
Several bills I authored are included in this budget. They will help families find affordable child care and support providers by:
Investing in Minnesota Schools
Every child in Minnesota deserves a world-class education, no matter where they live or what they look like. This session, we delivered the largest investment in public schools in 15 years. Our E-12 Education budget increases per-pupil funding by 2.45 percent this coming year and another 2 percent the following year. Under this new formula, White Bear Lake Area Schools will receive $236 more per student next year and $376 more the year after that. Mounds View Public Schools will see per-pupil increases of $263 and $402 during that period. Mahtomedi Public Schools will receive $192 and $332 more per student each year, and Stillwater Area Public Schools will see increases of $201 and $336.
This funding will help our schools retain teachers, keep class sizes from growing, and provide academic and emotional support for students who experienced learning disruptions and other challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget also preserves voluntary pre-K opportunities, addresses special education and English learner cross-subsidies, and invests in recruiting and retaining teachers of color and Indigenous teachers.
More Information about the State Budget
I’ll provide more in-depth information about the budget in the coming weeks. If you’d like 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; Commerce, Climate, and Energy; 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; and Taxes.
Marketfest Starts Tonight
Marketfest is one of my favorite summer events. It’s a great place to listen to live music, find local artists and vendors to support, and connect with community members. Tonight is the first night of this free, family-friendly festival, which takes place in downtown White Bear Lake every Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. You can learn more about each week’s special events and the many community partners who make Marketfest possible by visiting www.marketfestwbl.com. I hope to see you there this summer!
Stay in Touch
Now that we’ve finished passing a budget, I’m looking forward to spending more time in our community and to continuing conversations about how we can better ensure all Minnesotans have the resources to thrive. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (651) 296-3018.
Have a safe and enjoyable 4th of July weekend!