Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL)

Back to profile

Legislative Update- April 12, 2019

Friday, April 12, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
I hope this finds you well and you’ve had a great week. Our budget bills are making their final committee stops before we head to longer floor sessions. Next week, the Legislature will observe Easter and Passover, so I will be back in Edina, connecting with community members in the district.
Here’s an update from the Capitol:

Governor Walz Signs Hands-Free Cell Phone Bill into Law

Governor Tim Walz today signed the compromise ‘hands free’ legislation into law. Minnesota will be the 17th state, plus the District of Columbia, to require a ‘hands free’ device while driving beginning August 1, 2019. It was an honor to support the bill on Tuesday on the House Floor when it passed with overwhelming support of 107-9.


The new House tax bill was announced Monday. I’m still reviewing the details, but have been communication with Taxes Committee Chair Paul Marquart since January to find areas where we can cut property taxes and eliminate, or at least reduce the tax on social security benefits. This bill contains both, and more. These tax cuts are paid for not by cuts to essential services, but by requiring large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes on profits they stash in overseas tax havens. Bringing this lost revenue back to our country and state will help ensure our senior citizens, students, and small businesses can thrive economically. The Star Tribune has a story about the new House tax bill here. Differences within the Senate’s proposal will need to be negotiated, but I’m keeping the focus on our families, seniors, and small businesses in Edina when considering the big picture.

E-12 Education

Over the years, I’ve heard loud and clear from Edina families: the state’s commitment to our schools has not kept pace with inflation, and as a result, local taxpayers pay higher costs through bond referendums and operating levies. This creates a patchwork education system throughout our state, pitting some communities’ funding opportunities against others.
Every single child deserves to get a great start and receive a world-class education, no matter where they live or what they look like. That’s why the House E-12 education budget increases the state’s commitment to schools by three percent in the first year, and by two percent in the second year of the biennium. Investing in education helps our schools keep up with the cost of inflation so they don’t have to resort to teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, or pushing costs from the state onto local taxpayers. KSTP has a story about the House DFL’s new investments in education here.
I’m especially excited that a couple of my bills have been incorporated into the final education budget bill. One of these delivers school-linked mental health grants to help eliminate barriers that can prevent children from receiving the treatment they need and deserve. The other ensures school districts that have over 40% of students who qualify for free and reduced lunches can provide nutritious breakfasts to students who often go to school hungry. This is a bipartisan initiative also moving through the Senate.

You can review a fact sheet below with more details.

City of Edina Receives Redevelopment Grants

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) awarded $2 million in grants to assist in the demolition and redevelopment of five sites in Minnesota. I’m excited to share that one of these is in Edina! The city has been awarded $500,000 in Redevelopment Grant funds for asbestos abatement, demolition, and infrastructure costs on the 7200-7250 France Avenue site. This site will be redeveloped with two mixed-use buildings offering 301 apartments, 28,000 square feet of commercial space, and underground parking. It is anticipated the project will create 41 jobs, retain 18 jobs, and increase the tax base by $800,681.

Keep in Touch

Please stay in touch over the Easter/Passover break. I appreciate hearing from you and look forward to your feedback!
Heather Edelson
State Representative