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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Elkins (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 29, 2022

Friday, April 29, 2022

Dear Neighbors,

This has been a very busy week as we work to pass our omnibus bills on various subjects. We will then meet with the Senate in conference committees to hash out the differences and meet somewhere in the middle. These are the House DFL bills that we’ve heard, so far, which reflect our budgetary vision. Some of the most important bills are yet to come - Public Safety is on the agenda for today – and I’ll cover those as we pass them.


Minnesota students deserve every opportunity to succeed. The House education bill addresses the key funding shortfalls that have been identified by our local school boards. My district includes parts of four school districts and when they hold their annual policy meetings with us, they raise the same issues every year - we’re not supporting our students and teachers enough. 

Both State and Federal governments have mandated standards for special education and English-as-a-second-language learners without providing sufficient funding to fulfill these mandates. As a result, our schools have to “cross-subsidize” the education of these students from their general formula funding allotment and by resorting to local school property tax levies. The House education bill provides sufficient ongoing revenue to permanently erase the English as a second language cross-subsidy and half of the special education cross subsidy. It might not be coincidental that the additional funding that schools would receive is about equal to the amount that they currently levy in local school property taxes. For the Bloomington, Edina, Hopkins and Richfield school districts, the resulting funding increases would range from 5.6 to 7.2 percent. 

Minnesota currently has one of the worst student-to-counselor ratios in the country and this is another issue that comes up in our school board discussions every year. Our bill finally includes dedicated investment to hire additional mental health counselors.

Our communities have always been proud of our outstanding public schools and these investments will enable them to continue to succeed with less pressure to increase their local property tax levies.



Our housing bill recognizes that having a safe and secure place to call home is essential to public health, educational achievement, and economic security. Our bill provides unprecedented investments in building more stable communities through home ownership and protections for both renters and landlords. It also prioritizes keeping unsheltered Minnesotans safe and provides pathways out of homelessness.



We’ve put forward a balanced transportation bill that funds roads, bridges, EV charging infrastructure, bus rapid transit (including the electrification of the transit fleet) and intercity rail; as well as improved customer service in Driver and Vehicle Services and a safer public transit system. We’ve also appropriated enough money to provide the full State match needed to obtain all of the Federal Infrastructure bill dollars that we have coming to us to help complete projects like the I494/I35W upgrade projects.

The transportation sector is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. We’re tackling the climate crisis by making critical investments supporting the transition to electric vehicles.

Transportation 2


As Minnesotans, we’re proud of our clean air, water, and soil and the many plants and animals that call our state home. The environment bill will preserve these valuable resources. We are also funding innovative climate solutions and taking action to reduce lead contamination and exposure to dangerous chemicals like PFAS.


State Government & Elections

Minnesotans regularly lead the nation in voter turnout, thanks in part to our exceptional elections system. We’re building upon that success by investing in our elections infrastructure, expanding the security and integrity of absentee ballots, and protecting our local elections officials. There are also significant investments in upgrading our outdated core administrative software systems and beefing up our cybersecurity capabilities.



Our Legacy bill will make sure we are protecting and enhancing Minnesota's outdoor heritage, clean water, arts and cultural heritage, and parks and trails. These are the investments that make our state such a great place to live. Thanks is owed to you, the voters, for approving the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008!


Veterans and Military Affairs

Too many families have had to deal with the unimaginable grief of losing a loved one to suicide. The House DFL’s Veterans budget includes a variety of solutions to tackle this epidemic and better address veterans mental health difficulties. We also include provisions to end veteran homelessness and provide additional economic security for veterans who need it.



Minnesota should lead the way in resilient, sustainable farming, including new investments in Kernza and other emerging soil and water-friendly crops. House DFLers are delivering new investments in farmers and food producers so we can maintain a strong Ag Economy. We also take measures to improve urban agriculture and to help new farmers from diverse backgrounds get into the industry.



Broadband is vital to the success of rural communities, but there are too many unacceptable service gaps throughout the state. For many years, House DFLers have been committed to ensuring all Minnesotans have the high-speed internet access they expect and deserve. Our broadband bill continues this effort and will make sure that you will have fast internet no matter which part of the state you call home.



Next week, we’ll be taking up our Health and Human Services bill on Tuesday and the Tax bill on Wednesday.

Keep in Touch

Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance. Please follow me on my Facebook page for further updates and invite your friends and family to do so as well. 

Thanks for the honor of representing you at the Capitol. 


Steve Elkins
Representative, District 49B
Minnesota House of Representatives

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