The good news is we are poised to build a budget that will ensure all Minnesotans can recover from the hardships of the past year, thanks in part to the federal funds we received from the American Rescue Plan.
Working groups made up of House and Senate members are continuing to meet to complete their portions of the budget. I have been appointed to the Legacy Conference Committee, where I’m advocating for investments that support our treasured Minnesota Zoo and outdoor heritage. I look forward to updating you on the specifics soon.
Summer Learning Plan
Part of our bipartisan budget agreement includes immediate funds to help Minnesota’s students. Last week, Governor Walz announced a plan to help students recover from the pandemic and the unprecedented challenges many of them have faced this year, a plan based on the one we constructed in the Minnesota House. He’s investing $75 million of Minnesota’s American Rescue Plan funds in summer learning programs. Of this, $34.6 million is dedicated to providing academic and mental health support during the summer and beyond.
The rest of the funds will provide preschool for four- and five-year-olds, expand access to tutoring, strengthen Adult Basic Education programs, and support academic enrichment and college readiness initiatives. As a legislator who has previously served on the House education committees, I’m confident this package of investments will help students, families, educators, and communities bounce back and prepare for a bright future.
Honoring our Fallen Heroes on Memorial Day
Monday, May 31st is Memorial Day. Those who have served our nation in the Armed Forces have done so with courage and dedication, but many of them, including my brother who served in Vietnam, made the ultimate sacrifice and didn’t come home. You may recall the legislation I’ve been working on since I was elected that would create a Capitol Flag Program. I’m pleased to share the legislation passed with bipartisan support and has been signed into law. The program will make available either United States or Minnesota state flags that were flown over the State Capitol to surviving family members of service members who die on active duty and public safety officers who die in the line of duty.
My brother Ray, who was killed in Vietnam in 1970.
This weekend, as we take part in the activities we all enjoy with family and friends over a long weekend, we do so with tremendous gratitude, remembering those who gave their lives in service to this country. While recognizing their contributions, we can never repay them for their sacrifices.
Wishing you a safe weekend.