We’re finishing our first month of the 2021 Legislative Session, and we’ve been using these first weeks to lay the groundwork for our legislative priorities. For me, that includes my efforts to promote clean energy and climate change solutions. Though I am neither a member of the Preventive Health Division or the Capital Investment Committee, I was able to join my colleagues on these committees through my role on the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee. We explored the important nexus in which climate change has impacted both of these policy areas.
In the Preventive Health Division, we saw that climate change has direct and indirect effects on our public health. As our climate changes, we will continue to see greater rates of asthma, allergies, heat-related illnesses, and other health risks. Though there was some pushback from my Republican colleagues, it’s clear that the science around this issue is sound, and it’s up to us to address it - not bury our heads in the sand.
There was a similar experience during today’s joint hearing with the Capital Investment Committee. As we look to the ways we want to invest in projects throughout our state, it’s important that we do so through a lens that addresses the impact of these projects on climate change, and prioritize projects that address the issue.
We also saw a continued debate from last session on a clean energy standard bill, a piece of legislation I’m proud to co-author. This was a great month for discussing the importance of clean energy and climate solutions, and I look forward to more in the coming months.
Governor Walz’s Budget Proposal
This week, Governor Walz released his Covid-19 Recovery Budget. While I’m still reviewing the finer points of his proposal, the budget does a good job of prioritizing students, working families, and small businesses. We’re starting the process of crafting our own budget proposal in the House, and though we’ll have a better picture of the state’s financial situation in February, the Governor’s taken a good first step in outlining areas that will help Minnesota get through this pandemic and bounce back strong.