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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Kelly Moller (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 24, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dear Neighbors,
The Legislature is back at the State Capitol following the weeklong Easter/Passover recess, which was a good opportunity to connect with people in the community. Over the recess, I was able to tour Bethel University in Arden Hills. I also met with Roseville schools officials, and several area city and county leaders.
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting the students from Mounds View elementary schools who supplied the art for our office. It was so fun to meet them and their families, learn more about their art, and show them around the Capitol!

There is about one month remaining in the session as we work to advance the major components of our Minnesota Values Budget.

Historic Investments in Education

All Minnesota students deserve an excellent education from world-class schools. Unfortunately, years of chronically underfunding schools has led to opportunities for our children being put in jeopardy. Our E-12 Education budget gets us back on the right track with significant investments in our schools, with a 3% increase in the first year of the biennium, and 2% in the second. For Mounds View Public Schools, this would result in an additional $4.2 million in the first year, and another $2.5 in the following year. This budget helps reduce the burden on local property tax payers.
On top of the historic funding for public schools, I’m excited by some of the strategies within the budget to strengthen students’ futures. One of these is the expansion of school-linked mental health grants. Under this model, school-linked providers co-locate at a school, providing clinical level mental health treatment within the school walls. Nearly every teacher I've talked to, and many students and families, have mentioned to me the increasing and unmet mental health needs of our students. Minnesota currently ranks toward the bottom of states in student-to-counselor ratios. Our budget empowers schools to hire additional student support staff, such as licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses. These will all improve Minnesota students’ ability to succeed in both the classroom and in the community.

Our Clean Energy Future

The Minnesota House energy budget sets a benchmark to get 100 percent of our energy generated from to come from renewable sources by 2050. There’s a significant need to address the impacts of climate change, and while this may be a bold, ambitious step, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels is absolutely necessary to protect the future of our planet. Other components include the Solar on Schools program, grants for electric buses, and new opportunities for utility consumers to conserve energy and save money by switching to cleaner electricity sources.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. A major focus of the month is a public awareness campaign about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. The campaign theme, I Ask, champions the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.
In my work at the Legislature, I’ve been committed to building a state where everyone can have safety, dignity, and respect in their workplaces and in their communities. We’ve accomplished this through measures to strengthen protections against sexual harassment and gender-based violence, and to empower victims and survivors to come forward.
One such individual is Jenny Teeson of Andover who came to the House Public Safety Committee this year to share powerful testimony about her experience being drugged and assaulted by her now ex-husband. Because the two were married, prosecutors were unable to bring charges, denying Ms. Teeson justice. I’m proud to have supported legislation earlier this year to end the state’s so-called “marital rape” exemption to help ensure no one has to go through this again. The New York Times highlighted her story here.

Town Hall Meeting

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 8 as Sen. Jason Isaacson and Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn will join me for a Town Hall Meeting to recap the legislative session. The meeting will take place 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Shoreview Library. Everyone in the community is invited to attend, and I look forward to the conversation.

Let’s Stay Connected

I am working on many important issues at the Capitol. Often I tweet about them or post them on Facebook. To see the bills I've authored and co-authored, please click here. To follow bills through the legislative process, you can use the MyBills service on the Legislature’s website. Additionally, Session Daily provides regular nonpartisan recaps of legislative activity.
If you have any questions for me or concerns about issues, please feel free to email me or call to schedule a meeting. I also hope to see you at my next "Chat with Kelly" at Shore 96 on April 28 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. There’s a chance the House may be in session on Sunday, in which case Sen. Isaacson will be available. I hope you'll keep in touch.
It’s an honor to represent you at the Capitol.
Kelly Moller
State Representative