I hope this finds you well and staying cool! The ongoing drought we’re experiencing in Minnesota is causing several cities across the state to ask residents to reduce water use in an effort to preserve.
Plymouth has had limitations on outdoor water use in place since May and those run through September. To learn more, you can visit the city website or call the Plymouth Water Restriction Hotline at 763-509-5512.
It’s been a busy summer. Although the legislature has adjourned, I’ve been participating in various educational seminars and tours, gaining more knowledge so I can better serve our Plymouth community. Read more below for highlights from our completed state budget.
Thank you for attending our first in-person town hall meeting last week! It was great gathering to gain your input on how we can continue working together to deliver the results our community and state deserve.
The #ForeverGreen initiative helps advance crop development and protect water quality by incorporating winter annual and perennial crops into agricultural landscapes. This program deserves ongoing funding and I'm glad I could partner with Senator Scott Dibble and State Representative Leon Lillie to secure investments via the Legacy Budget this year.
Wrapped up a quick, but an informative ‘Get Ready to Redistrict: A Seminar for Practitioners and Others’ conference hosted by the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. Great to connect with lawmakers and experts of all backgrounds and geographies to learn about best practices for drawing fair and equitable legislative maps.
Great to be with MAPE state workers this week as they successfully negotiated a fair contract! Their hard work and dedication to our state-especially amid a global pandemic- deserves to be recognized.
Highlights from the 2021 Session
The special session to wrap up a new two-year state budget has concluded. While working together in the only divided state legislature in the country, and the pandemic adding a variety of challenges to our work, I’m pleased we reached a bipartisan compromise that will help workers, students, families, and small businesses across our state recover from the struggles we’ve faced over the past year.
It was great to be back at the Capitol as we wrapped up our budget work last month.
Prioritizing High Quality Education
Our children deserve a world-class education, and many of our community members choose to live in Plymouth in large part due to our excellent schools. That’s why I pushed for ongoing funding for every student in every public school and to help our children recover from a challenging year. We prevented harmful cuts, teacher and staff layoffs, and larger class sizes, and secured the largest investment in our schools and children in 15 years. Here’s a rundown on how our school districts will fare as a result of the strong investments we made:
Osseo ISD #279 will receive $207 per pupil in 2022 and $348 in 2023
Wayzata ISD #284 will receive $189 per pupil in 2022 and $323 in 2023
Robbinsdale ISD #281 will receive $409 per pupil in 2022 and $569 in 2023
The future is bright for these Wayzata students who participated in Youth in Government!
Investing in Affordable, Accessible Health Care
The pandemic highlighted how much we rely on strong health care in Minnesota. The Health and Human Services budget we passed aims to improve Minnesota’s health care system and expand access to affordable care. We made investments in our public health infrastructure, strengthening behavioral and mental health services, addressing inequities in maternal and infant health outcomes, and finally increasing pay for personal care assistants (PCAs) who help our neighbors live independently.
COVID-19 also highlighted many gaps in health care access. Through these bipartisan investments - and some significant policy solutions to reduce disparities – our HHS budget moves us closer to making sure every Minnesotan has access to the care they need to experience a healthy future and a strong quality of life. You can read more about this portion of the budget here.
Great to advocate for essential care with Plymouth constituents.
Keeping Plymouth Residents Safe
With a background in professional mediation and as a member serving on the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Committee, I was grateful to have contributed to this portion of the budget. The Public Safety and Judiciary Budget was a bipartisan compromise and aims to improve public safety for everyone across the state. As a strong supporter and co-author of the “hands free” cell phone law in 2019 and various other measures to help prevent tragedy on our roadways, ensuring our residents can be safe continues to be a top priority of mine. This year’s budget includes successful legislation I carried that will increase the use of ignition interlocks for repeat DWI offenders so more of us are held out of harm’s way. With DWIs on the rise, passage of this bill is timely and will save lives.
I am grateful for the public service of our local law enforcement professionals in Plymouth who help preserve peace and help keep us safe while respecting our constitutional and human rights. Following the senseless, high-profile tragedies Minnesota has seen over the years, this area of the budget balances some accountability measures with increased funding for law enforcement, so our police officers can stay safe on the job as well. The public safety portion of the budget also contains increased funding for Violent Crime Enforcement Teams, additional money for training, and salary increases for state troopers, DNR conservation officers, and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents.
Among many other things, our Public Safety budget also funded the Hometown Heroes Assistance Program, which will help firefighters diagnosed with cancer or heart disease, and education materials for firefighters on cancer, heart disease, and emotional trauma, including suicide prevention. More information on our Public Safety budget agreement is available here.
As a result of the federal American Rescue Plan, Minnesota received the funding to both provide targeted tax cuts to workers and small businesses and fund our priorities in order to build out of the pandemic quickly. For Plymouth workers who struggled over the past year, our bipartisan Taxes bill exempts pandemic unemployment insurance from state income taxes, and similarly exempts Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds struggling businesses received. In another measure to help frontline workers who have sacrificed their health to keep us safe during the pandemic, the bill has $250 million worth of financial support for these heroes.
I’ve only scratched the surface of the work we accomplished for Minnesotans at the Capitol this year. Our nonpartisan office of House Public Information Services has many resources with other information available here.
Three new laws took effect July 1 as a result of legislative action in the regular session. These include changes to the statute governing tax-forfeited land sales, a package of updates to our pension and retirement law, and payments resulting from claims against the state. More information can be found here. Information on other new laws, including those taking effect August 1, and those passed during the special session, can be accessed here.
Keep in Touch
Please continue to reach out anytime with input, feedback, or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hearing from you drives my work for our Plymouth community in St. Paul.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend.
Take good care,