As is the nature of compromise, especially in the only divided state legislature in the nation, we didn’t get everything we wanted. In fact, some incredibly important proposals were blocked by Senate Republicans - but there remains a tremendous amount of good in these bills. We’re making historic investments in education, protecting our environment, setting the groundwork for transitions to clean energy, making our communities safer, and so much more. While I worked on all of our budget bills to varying degrees, I’m especially proud of our Higher Education budget, where I served on the conference committee and working group that crafted our final bill.
The compromise we reached with our final Higher Education budget makes investments to ensure our students can recover from the unprecedented challenges they’ve faced over the past year. In our negotiations for this bill, we advocated for provisions prioritizing support for our students, making college more equitable, and laying the groundwork for Minnesotans to thrive in the post-pandemic workforce - and that’s what we’re delivering.
As an appointed member of the Explore Minnesota Tourism Council, I also crafted legislation that contributed to a $29.9 million investment to help bolster the state’s tourism industry, and assist in the recovery from the struggles brought on by the pandemic. A full recovery for our state needs to also include the businesses and Minnesotans that make up our tourism industry.
You can find a nonpartisan summary of all of our budget bills here:
An End to the Peacetime Emergency
In addition to passing our budget bills, we also voted to end the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. As more Minnesotans are getting vaccinated, cases are going down, and we’ve also been able to incorporate important proposals in our state budget to ensure that when the emergency ends, another crisis doesn’t take its place.
A deal was reached with the US Department of Agriculture to ensure emergency food assistance can continue after the emergency, and the Housing budget we passed in the legislature ensures Minnesotans can still stay in their homes when the eviction moratorium ends.
The win-win solution we reached for renters and landlords gives them both the time and resources they need to be made whole, thanks in large part to federal funds from President Biden and the Democrats in Congress. If you or someone you know has been struggling with rent payments because of the pandemic, I highly encourage you to check out renthelpmn.org.