Finally! Each section of our state budget has been debated and approved by the House. We put together an inclusive budget that makes historic investments to make sure our students are successful, everyone has access to high-quality health care and good jobs, and that we protect our environment. Now we meet with the Senate to iron out differences between our plan, and theirs.
Our environment budget funds innovative research that would aid conservation efforts and protect the environment and wildlife for future generations. We address emerald ash borer, chronic wasting disease, and aquatic invasive species to protect the health and well being of our communities and the environment.
Our plan will enhance soil health statewide and plant nearly a million trees each year. The budget also strengthens protections for Minnesota's fish and wildlife. It increases support for pollinators by establishing a program to help homeowners who want to convert their lawns to pollinator-friendly habitat.
We passed a higher education budget to freeze tuition at all of Minnesota's universities. All Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to get a quality higher education, and the training needed to get a good-paying job to support a family. Investing in higher education means investing in Minnesotans and the future of our state.
We passed an elections budget which will help sure that every voice is heard in our elections. The bill includes measures to make it easier to vote, appropriates the full $6.6 million in Federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funding to secure Minnesota’s elections, includes automatic voter registration, free public transportation on election day, and measures to ensure a full and complete Census count.
It also includes Rep. Vang's measure to uphold the Voting Rights Act by repealing a rule that disenfranchises people with disabilities and language barriers. Only Minnesota, Arkansas, and Georgia limit the number of people a person can assist with their ballot. Under Rep. Vang's new provision, all eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots.
Minnesota’s first and only Asian Pacific Caucus join Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) across the country this month in celebrating the achievements and opportunities we have been afforded because of the courage and sacrifices of our ancestors. We honor the men and women who laid the tracks to build this country, who sacrificed their lives for the values of this country, and who broke down immeasurable barriers, so that we could thrive today. We renew our resolve to address inequalities and challenges facing AAPI people, so that all Minnesotans can be afforded equal opportunities into the future.
We celebrate the fact that, on the eve of AAPI month, the Minnesota House passed a measure to finally establish a day to honor the sacrifices America’s Secret War veterans and their families made, fighting alongside American soldiers for the values this great nation stands for. So proud to be working with powerful colleagues to create a state holiday recognizing Hmong veterans who served in the U.S. Vietnam War.
We invite you to share your favorite AAPI role model or moment to commemorate Asian American heritage month.
As always, it is an honor to serve you at the Capitol. Please reach out with questions, I'd love to hear from you!
I hope you had a great Spring weekend!
State Representative - District 64A