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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Tou Xiong (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 24, 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Neighbors,
 
We jumped right into the legislative session after a break for Easter and Passover. For the next few weeks we'll be vetting and voting on budgets, and negotiating with the Republican-controlled Senate to pass budgets. 

On Tuesday we debated and voted on our E-12 Education budget, and are continuing to debate our Jobs and Energy budgets. We'll be voting later this week on our Health and Human Services budget. 

Remember you can always follow along and watch our floor sessions live here

Education 
All Minnesotans deserve a great education, no matter where they live or where they're from. Our E-12 budget invests in every student in every public school. By making investments in early childhood education, we're allowing all of our youngest learners to get off to a great start. 
The House DFL E-12 education budget includes $900 million in new investments. Here are the highlights:
  • Increase per-pupil funding by 3% in the first year and by another 2% in the second year of the biennium ($520 million).
  • Keep students, teachers, and staff safer while in school.
  • Address Minnesota’s special education funding shortfall.
  • Protect access to voluntary Pre-K programs for 4,000 children.
  • Let schools hire additional student support staff, such as licensed counselors, psychologists, social workers, and nurses.
  • Give schools more tools to recruit and retain more teachers of color.
  • Expand students’ ability to earn college credits and develop skills through career and technical education programs.

Jobs

While people at the top continue to do well, Minnesota’s working families continue to feel squeezed. House DFLers will work to ensure Minnesotans have access to jobs with wages and benefits that can support a family. The DFL budget is focused on improving the lives of all Minnesotans by improving economic security for families, and I hope we can get Republican support in the Senate.

Here are some highlights: 

  • Minnesota Innovation Collaborative investment
  • Vocational rehabilitation services
  • Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Relief Initiative (DAIRI)
  • Net Neutrality
  • Protections against predatory payday lenders


Thank you to everyone who came to our SD53 town hall! 


Energy

Minnesota is one of the fastest-warming states in the country and we know we are already experiencing impacts of climate change. We need to act now to save our planet. Minnesotans are rightfully demanding that we take action for our children, and for generations to come after us. 

Minnesota’s clean energy economy is expanding rapidly and outpacing other states. It makes sense for our environment and for our economy to lead the transition to clean energy, creating jobs while protecting our state’s natural resources and beauty. That's what our energy budget does. A cornerstone of the budget is establishing a pathway to adopt 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050. This transition would reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels and encourage the use of clean energy alternatives. The budget ensures that electricity is reliable and affordable during and after the transition.

I hope you're enjoying (finally!) the spring weather. Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns to share with me. 

Sincerely,
 
Tou Xiong
State Representative – District 53A