I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and cool! I wanted to provide a quick update from the Capitol and share some information that may be useful.
Overview of the Commerce and Energy Budget
Minnesota is in the midst of a heat wave and the worst drought we’ve experienced in years. Last week, air quality alerts were issued for most of the state due to smoke from wildfires in Canada and the western United States. This isn’t a coincidence; we’re experiencing more severe weather and natural disasters because of climate change. Minnesota is one of the fastest warming states in the country, and we can expect more consequences if we don’t take action.
The Commerce and Energy budget legislators passed this session will help address the climate crisis and save Minnesotans money by investing in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives. Highlights include legislation that:
There are some notable provisions in the Commerce portion of the budget as well, including measures that:
This section of the budget addresses the climate crisis and protects Minnesotans from those who seek to take advantage of them. While there’s more work to do in both areas, we made meaningful progress this year.
New Laws Take Effect on August 1
Several new laws will take effect on Sunday, August 1, including legislation that:
A list of all of the laws taking effect this weekend can be found here.
Make Your Voice Heard
Apply for the Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force
The Great Start for All Minnesota Children Task Force, a nonpartisan working group that legislators recently voted to establish, has three primary goals: creating a system in which family costs for child care and early education are affordable; making sure a child’s access to high-quality early care and learning isn’t determined by their race, family’s income, or zip code; and ensuring early childhood professionals are qualified, diverse, supported, and equitably compensated regardless of where they work.
The task force has several vacancies, including three seats for early educators, two seats for directors of licensed child care centers, two seats for family child care program license holders, and two seats for parents of children under five. This is a great opportunity to share your expertise with the rest of the state, and I encourage you to apply if you’re interested. You can find more details and information on how to apply here.
Many Faces of the White Bear Lake Area
Many Faces of the White Bear Lake Area is a collaborative of 15 local organizations working together to strengthen our community. Created in 2018, the group focuses on creating opportunities for people to listen to and learn from their neighbors’ stories and to better understand the role all of us play in creating a more inclusive community. Many Faces has hosted conversations about equity, diversity, and inclusion and provided opportunities to learn about the history of our area and those who’ve inhabited it.
I recently attended the first event in a four-part series on how Minnesotans experience and recognize racism. You can read an article the White Bear Press published about it here. If you’re interested, I encourage you to attend the remaining conversations. The next one is tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Vadnais Heights Commons (655 East Cty Rd. F., Vadnais Heights, MN 55127). You should also check out the information and resources available on Many Face’s website.
It’s an honor to represent our communities and to work with all of you. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out. You can contact me at email@example.com or (651) 296-3018.