I hope you're enjoying the spring weather we've been waiting (for what seems like) forever for. Things are busy at the Capitol - for the next few weeks we'll be vetting and voting on committee budget bills. This week we took up education, jobs, energy and health and human services. Here's an overview.
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.
I'm a proud co-author of a provision in the bill to provide school-linked mental health grants.
Here are some highlights from the budget:
- 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.
These late nights wouldn't be possible without the community members who come out to make their voices heard!
Jobs and Energy
The House DFL passed a budget on Wednesday which 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 face wage theft every year, and a pathway 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.
Other major components in the Jobs and Energy budget include:
- Vocational rehabilitation services
- Net Neutrality
- Protections against predatory payday lenders
- Solar on Schools program
- Electric bus grants
Met with these amazing group of healthcare advocates at Aqui Para Ti clinic in Whittier neighborhood who are changing the way healthcare is delivered to communities of color. It was impressive to hear their life stories and how they apply their life experience to change lives. Representing the most diverse district allows me to hear diverse perspectives all the time.
Please reach out with any questions or comments. It's an honor to serve you!
State Representative - District 62A