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

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Climate Change & Clean Energy

Friday, January 29, 2021

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors, 

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.

Recovery Budget


COVID-19 Business Relief

Last month, we passed a new bipartisan COVID-19 assistance package, resulting in the Minnesota Department of Revenue issuing $67.3 million in Business Relief Payments to 3,981 restaurants, bars, gyms, and similar businesses across the state. 

If you own an eligible business that has not received a payment, you can contact the Department of Revenue through the online inquiry process. The inquiry process will be open until Friday, February 5. After that point, payments will be made for businesses that qualify. Don’t miss out if this includes you!



Democracy for the People Act

Last week, the House DFL introduced a legislative package called the Democracy for the People Act, which would build a strong, inclusive democracy that works for all Minnesotans - no matter your race, age, region, or party.

Our nation recently passed our toughest test yet for our democracy, but that wasn’t without significant effort. This legislation would ensure state and local elections officials can access the critical federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds they need for election security and infrastructure; establish more ballot drop box and return sites; and get dark money out of our politics. You can read more about the Democracy for the People Act here.

Democracy 2


Stay Connected

Though you’re still unable to observe the legislative process in person, we’ve increased the number of available livestreams on the House of Representatives webpage to ensure the public is able to watch all of our committee hearings and floor sessions, which you can access here. You can also “like” and follow my official Facebook page

If you have any questions or comments for me, the best way to touch base is through email ( or phone (651/296-4244). I appreciate hearing from you. 



Representative Shelly Christensen

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