Congratulations to Lt. Amanda Lee of Mounds View, recently selected to be the first female demonstration pilot to fly with the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, better known as the legendary Blue Angels. She is one of six new officers who will report in September, with a rigorous five-month training period to begin in November. Their performances are breathtaking, and we look forward to seeing her contributions when the 2023 flying season begins.
In recent weeks, many of our neighbors in the north metro have found racist and antisemitic literature left at their homes. This is deeply disturbing, and I join our communities in strongly denouncing the continued distribution of this hateful propaganda. Media has reported this activity in Lino Lakes, and I’ve also heard of it being found in Shoreview, Arden Hills, and New Brighton.
I encourage anyone who witnesses such activity to report it to local law enforcement and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. We must be unequivocal in our rejection of racism, antisemitism, and all forms of hate. I hope we can all come together to send a message that there’s simply no tolerance for what our neighbors have been forced to experience, and put an end to the distribution of this awful propaganda.
This week, I had the opportunity to join other lawmakers, law enforcement personnel, community leaders, and prosecutors from around the state for the Violent Crime Summit at the North Metro Event Center in Shoreview. Topics included gangs in Minnesota, investigating and prosecuting carjackings, use of force implications, juvenile violent crime problems and solutions, violent crime trends and more. In my role as Vice Chair of the House Judiciary and Civil Law Committee, I served on a panel of legislators discussing our efforts this session to deliver the proven, innovative solutions communities are counting on to both combat crime at this critical moment and lay the groundwork for long-term prevention strategies.
The continued public safety challenges communities are facing highlight the need for a special legislative session. Minnesotans all across the state are counting on solutions and additional resources, and we have the capacity to help them out. Right now, all that seems to be in the way is election year politics.
Other critical priorities, including new funding for schools, investments in health care, and solutions to help Minnesotans with rising costs also remain unfinished, despite a historic budget surplus. Reaching compromise requires resolve from all parties and can be difficult. Nevertheless, Minnesotans expect and deserve results. My House DFL colleagues and I are committed to seeing this important work to the end and are ready to come back to the Capitol for a special session anytime.
Mental health crises – and tragically, suicide – are becoming a greater public health concern. This past Saturday, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline transitioned to a new service with an easier-to-remember number to help those in need. Now, by dialing or texting 988, a trained mental health counselor is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week if you or someone close to you is experiencing a crisis. Traditional approaches in response to 911 calls aren’t always best equipped to respond to mental health crises, and the new number will help ensure people can quickly get support.
Workers can connect callers to additional support or in-person care. The service is free and confidential.
This legislative session, lawmakers invested $500 million in extra pay for frontline workers. Workers in fields such as health care, child care, food service, retail, first response and others are all eligible for a bonus in recognition of their sacrifices during the toughest days of the pandemic. They didn’t have the opportunity to work from home, and as a result, faced a greater exposure to the pandemic, putting their health at risk to keep our state moving forward.
The deadline to apply is today at 5 p.m. If you know someone who may benefit, and you aren’t sure if they’ve applied, be sure to share this with them. Learn more and submit your application here.
Due to state law prohibiting proactive emails or postal mailings from the Capitol in an election period, this will be my final email update this summer. I hope you’ve found these updates informative and valuable. While these newsletters will be temporarily paused, I hope to continue hearing from you!
Please feel free to contact me directly with your viewpoints or if I can be of assistance. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my phone number is 651-296-0141. You can learn about bills that have been introduced here and keep track of the bills I’ve authored here.
If you have neighbors, friends, or family who you think would find these updates valuable when they resume this fall, please share this with them; they can subscribe here. I also encourage you to follow me on Facebook.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.