We are spending most of our days now on the House floor (which you can always watch here). This week we're vetting and voting on E-12 education, jobs, energy, and health and human services bills.
Yesterday (well, very late last night) the House passed the Jobs and Energy budget (HF 2208). It includes access to paid family and medical leave and earned sick and safe time for all Minnesotans; tougher protections for the 39,000 Minnesotans who report wage theft every year; and a pathway to adopt 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050.
This bill is not just about the growth of our economy, but about the livelihood of our residents and the strength of our communities. We are taking steps to maintain our economic strength, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and allow for more people to participate in and benefit from our dynamic economy.
As vice chair of the Jobs and Economic Development Finance Committee, I'm proud that one of my bills was included, which would create a Minnesota Innovation Collaborative to encourage and support the development of new technology.
We defeated a Republican amendment which would have prevented municipalities, like Minneapolis, from raising the minimum wage and providing a living wage for its workers.
The portion of our budget that deals with energy provides a pathway for our state to adopt 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050.
Minnesotans are rightfully demanding that we take action for our children, and for generations to come after us. This budget makes sense for our environment and for our economy, creating jobs while protecting our water, air and land. The House DFL is listening to the overwhelming science that says that climate change is real and caused by humans. Republicans' response when asked whether "The legislature finds and declares that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities are they key cause of climate change," was to vote, almost unanimously, to deny climate change.
The Minnesota House passed the E-12 education budget late Tuesday night. Under the bill, the Minneapolis School District would receive approximately $668 in additional funding per student. All Minnesotans deserve a great education, no matter where they live in our state. Our education budget invests in every student in every public school. By making investments in early childhood education, we're allowing all of our state's youngest learners to get off to a great start.
This budget improves the lives and the opportunities afforded to our kids, to our neighbors kids, and to students around the state that are struggling to get a good education. Minnesota suffers from one of the largest achievement gaps in the country. With the mental health support and community resources provided in this bill, we can work to change that statistic.
Here are some highlights from the budget:
We won't be in session this Saturday, so I hope you'll come out to share your ideas and thoughts with me! Join me, Rep. Diane Loeffler, and Sen. Kari Diedzic at Northeast Middle School media center from 10:30 a.m. - noon.
- Increase teachers of color and Indigenous teachers
- Eliminate preschool suspensions
- 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.
- Expand students’ ability to earn college credits and develop skills through career and technical education programs.
Thanks for reading! If you can't make it on Saturday, always feel free to reach out with comments and questions via email or phone.