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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michelle (Shelly) Christensen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - December 19, 2019

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors,

As we prepare for the 2020 Legislative Session to start in February, Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released their latest economic and budget forecast for our state. This forecast, while only a prediction, is incredibly important as we begin to plan for Minnesota’s future. Though Minnesota’s current budget balance is projected at $1.3 billion, inflation alone (which is not factored in) is as high as $1 billion. Throw in uncertain federal trade policies, an excess of unfilled jobs, and possible economic slowdown, it becomes clear that even if Minnesota’s economy is currently doing well, there’s more to do to ensure Minnesota stays strong in the coming years.

Future budget deficits are a reality, which is why we need to make responsible investments in the things Minnesotans value, like world-class schools, affordable health care, workforce development, and improved infrastructure. These are the priorities that secure a prosperous future for our state and community.

As far as improved infrastructure goes, an important piece of legislation that we’ll be working on next year will be the 2020 Bonding Bill. This bill will be made up of proposed infrastructure and community projects from all over Minnesota. The House and Senate Capital Investment committees have spent the interim traveling the state, visiting projects that will be considered in the bonding bill.

Bonding Tour Gif

There are a number of important projects, but the much-needed updates along Highway 36 will be my priority. You can read my previous update for more information on our community’s pitch to the House Capital Investment Committee. Keep an eye out for an upcoming town hall we’ll be planning for these transportation infrastructure proposals.

For more information on our recent budget forecast, you can brush up on the specifics at MMB’s website, or read MPR’s coverage of the forecast here.


Climate & Energy Community Discussion

This last week saw a lot of great news in our consolidating efforts to take on climate change at the Minnesota Capitol. After thousands of students marched across the state for action on climate change, my colleagues and I in the Minnesota House formed the Climate Action Caucus. Recently, members of the Minnesota Senate have done the same, and Governor Walz has established the Climate Change Subcabinet, as well as an advisory council on climate change. It’ll take bold, innovative solutions at all levels of government to find clean energy solutions, and I’m inspired by the momentum we’ve built up going into 2020.

Our work in the House this fall included informational hearings on how climate change impacts various policy areas, including transportation, housing, and public health. Our next meeting will cover the impact of climate change on Minnesota’s environment. You can find more information on the Climate Action Caucus, including updates and a meeting schedule, on our website.

We also have a Climate & Energy Community Discussion scheduled for Stillwater on Thursday, January 9, from 6-7:30pm at the Stillwater Public Library. I’ll be hosting this will the 100% Campaign, and we’ll be joined by Rep. Jamie Long, the vice chair of the House Energy and Climate Division, and Rev. Buff Grace of Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light. Be sure to mark your calendars and join us for this discussion on how we can build an equitable clean energy future for Minnesota.


“No Child Left Inside” Grant Application

The new “No Child Left Inside” initiative is a grant program that gets more children outdoors. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources received an overwhelming response for Phase I with more than 400 applications, and a new wave of Phase II grants are now available. Preference is given to projects that propose new and innovative ways to serve youth who have limited outdoor opportunities. The grants are open to public entities and nonprofit organizations serving youth. Applications are due by 2pm, Thursday, Jan. 9. You can find more information and apply here.


Stay In Touch!

The holiday season can be a hectic time of year, but I hope you enjoy the time to celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you may have, the 2020 Legislative Session is right around the corner! You can reach me at or (651) 296-4244.




Representative Shelly Christensen

Happy Holidays

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