It’s been a busy week at the Capitol! In the past four days, the House has passed several major bills. On Wednesday, for example, we passed our E-12 Education bill. This legislation will help meet the needs of all our students, starting in the earliest years of their lives. More than 20,000 of our youngest and most vulnerable Minnesotans will receive early learning scholarships thanks to this bill. When they turn four, these children will have access to the statewide voluntary pre-K program that it establishes. The bill also provides funding to support literacy programs and get more early education professionals into the field.
The E-12 Education bill also addresses the English Language Learner and Special Education cross subsidies so schools can pay for these critical services without cutting funding for other programs. It includes legislation to help increase the number of teachers of color and Indigenous teachers in Minnesota schools as well.
Some of my favorite parts of the bill are provisions that will enhance students’ wellbeing. For example, it invests $475 million in mental health resources! The bill expands mental health screenings, requires mental health training for staff, and delivers funding for school-linked mental health grants. Thanks to this legislation, schools will be able to hire more than 1,100 new counselors, social workers, psychologists, nurses, and other support staff.
Other major bills we passed this week include:
I’m happy to report that a few of these bills contained legislation that I introduced! The Environment and Natural Resources bill, for example, included legislation I authored to:
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Health released a draft Public Health Assessment that outlines the potential health impacts of exposure to contamination from Water Gremlin. The PHA also describes steps the agency will take to protect the health of our community in the future. You can read a summary here, or view the full PHA here.
If you’d like to weigh in on the MDH’s conclusions or their plan for the future, you have until Thursday, June 9 to submit a comment. You can share feedback by emailing email@example.com or call (651) 201-4897 for more options. The agency will consider these comments before finalizing the PHA.
On a related note, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is holding an informational meeting to discuss a proposed amendment to Water Gremlin’s air emissions permit. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 24 at Century College’s East Campus. It will start at 6:00 p.m. in the Lincoln Mall, where MPCA staff will be available for one-on-one conversations with community members. At 7:00 p.m., the MPCA will give a presentation on the proposed amendment in Room E2315. This will be followed by Q&A. The meeting will be recorded for those who aren’t able to attend in person.
We’re planning to pass more bills over the next few days! If you’d like to stay updated, please follow me on Facebook. Feel free to share this email with friends, family, and neighbors who might be interested as well.
As always, feel free to share any questions or feedback you may have. It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.