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

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Legislative Update - The Framework for a State Budget

Friday, May 28, 2021

Rep. Christensen

Dear Neighbors,

While the regular legislative session is now over, much of our work still continues. House Democrats and Senate Republicans, along with Governor Walz, managed to reach a bipartisan agreement on a budget framework last week, and now our work is focused on crafting the finer details of the budget. Our current timeline has us working towards a special session in early or mid-June.

Budget Agreement

The good news is we have the ability to build a budget that will ensure all Minnesotans can recover from the hardships of the past year, thanks in part to the federal funds we received from the American Rescue Plan, which was passed by the Democrats in Congress and signed into law by President Biden.

Working groups made up of House and Senate members are continuing to meet to complete their portions of the budget. I myself have been appointed to the Higher Education Conference Committee, where I’m fighting for the investments that support our college students and families and all forms of higher education. I look forward to updating you on the specifics of our investments soon. 



Summer Learning Plan

Part of our bipartisan budget agreement includes immediate funds to help Minnesota’s students. Last week, Governor Walz announced a plan to help students recover from the pandemic and the unprecedented challenges many of them have faced this year, a plan based on the one we constructed in the Minnesota House. He’s investing $75 million of Minnesota’s American Rescue Plan funds in summer learning programs. Of this, $34.6 million is dedicated to providing academic and mental health support during the summer and beyond.


The rest of the funds will provide preschool for four- and five-year-olds, expand access to tutoring, strengthen Adult Basic Education programs, and support academic enrichment and college readiness initiatives. As a former teacher, and I know this package of investments will help students, families, educators, and communities bounce back and prepare for a bright future.



Breaking Ground at Hwy 36 and Manning

A huge shout out to everyone that was part of the legislative journey to finally fund the necessary safety update to Highway 36. From crafting the legislation, testifying before committee, taking part in site tours, and fighting for inclusion in the 2020 Bonding Bill, we finally reached the point of breaking ground for the Highway 36 and Manning Avenue Interchange.

Breaking Ground

This project is a testament to what can get done when we work together across parties and governments to produce a project that will improve the daily lives of Minnesotans. Here’s to the day when it’s finally open!



Vaccines Appointments Available

It has never been easier in Minnesota to get a COVID-19 vaccine appointment. As we return to our greatest sense of normalcy since the onset of the pandemic in our state, vaccines remain our best tool in ensuring that we can close the book on COVID-19 for good. The Minnesota Department of Health reports more than 2.8 million of our neighbors have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 2.5 million have received the complete vaccine series. If you or a loved one haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, I encourage you to check out Minnesota’s COVID-19, call 833-431-2053 or ask your health care provider to help you find a vaccine.



Stay Connected

I wish you have your loved ones a safe and reflective Memorial Day Weekend. The Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs is again partnering with TPT to create a 30-minute Memorial Day program entitled “Reflections: Memorial Day 2021” that will be broadcast across the state on TPT’s Minnesota Channel at 8 p.m. on Monday, May 31, and again on Sunday, June 6 at 8 a.m. A link will also be available on their website to view the program online any time.

Memorial Day 2021

If you have any questions about our budget proposals or the other bills we’re working on at the State Capitol, please feel free to reach out to me. The best way to touch base with me directly is through email ( or phone (651-296-4244). I appreciate hearing from you. 



Representative Shelly Christensen

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