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

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Legislative Update: Worker Support, Clean Energy, Curbing Catalytic Converter Theft

Saturday, May 7, 2022




Rep. Xiong


Dear neighbors, 

It’s finally spring! The sun is out! I hope you are finding ways to get outside this weekend. Many cities are also promoting No Mow May this year, which is an effort to help pollinators during this critical time of the year. More info about this effort can be found here.




We’re finally done with our big omnibus bills on the House floor, now we move on to conference committees to settle the differences between our bills and the Senate’s. We’ve passed all of the bills below:

As Vice-Chair of the Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee, I’m proud that many of our committee’s top priorities passed within this set of bills. We have historic support for first-generation business owners, our communities of color, and our women in business.




Investing in Clean Energy and Solutions to Climate Change 

Scientists are telling us that the window to address climate change is closing. Minnesotans are urging lawmakers to act. House DFLers are listening. We passed an ambitious Climate and Energy budget on Monday.

This bill will move us forward on clean energy. It invests in several renewable energy initiatives, creates a program to help local governments purchase and install solar panels on public buildings, and funds research and development of clean energy technology.

We need to take action to preserve the climate for the next generation. Here’s a clip of our wonderful Eastside colleague, Rep. Athena Hollins.



Supporting our Workers and Businesses

Governor Walz has signed the Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Frontline Worker bill into law. This bill provides $500 million for Frontline Worker Pay to frontline workers who have sacrificed during the pandemic to keep Minnesotans safe, healthy, and fed. Eligible workers include those from the health care, child care, school, food service, public transit, long-term care, building service, emergency response, retail, and manufacturing sectors. You can find more information here. They are currently working on the online application system. When the system is ready to accept applications, eligible workers will have 45 days to apply for Frontline Worker Pay.

Replenishing the UI Trust Fund at $2.73 billion will ensure UI benefits are available to workers in the future and that businesses across the state are held harmless from the effects of the pandemic. About 130,000 businesses will be protected from a massive tax increase with the passing of this bill – with the total amount of relief provided to businesses coming totaling around $200 million for the first quarter of 2022.

Frontline worker pay graphic

Omnibus Veterans and Military Affairs Bill Passes

Today we passed our veterans and military affairs supplemental budget bill with strong bipartisan support. This bill will take action to end veteran homelessness and provide assistance to veterans who need it. Our veterans provide us a priceless service and it is our duty as legislators to support them. This bill will now go to the Governor’s desk where he will sign it so we can continue supporting our veterans.


Curbing Catalytic Converter Theft

Catalytic converter theft is on the rise in our state. The provision that the House DFL passed this week, included in the Commerce omnibus bill, would prohibit the possession of a detached catalytic converter and give law enforcement the ability to address situations where individuals are found with multiple detached catalytic converters. This approach will hold thieves accountable and regulate those profiting from the theft. I remain cautiously optimistic that the Senate will join us in acknowledging this is a significant problem we must swiftly confront.


COVID Vaccine Incentives for All Ages

COVID-19 vaccines are available for anyone ages 5 and older. You can also get a $50 gift card for each dose or booster from Ramsey County, while supplies last. You can schedule an appointment here.


Reproductive Rights in Minnesota

You’ve probably heard about the leaked Supreme Court decision from Monday night.

With this decision from SCOTUS, Minnesota could soon become the only state in the Upper Midwest where people can safely and legally access abortion care.

The decision overturns and questions not only Roe v. Wade, but also other precedents that over time have made our country a more just, inclusive, fair and welcoming nation to all people.

Abortion is preventive health. With extreme maternal mortality rates within some communities, forcing mothers to carry a fetus to term is unconscionable. Women deserve the freedom and power to control their own bodies and lives. This decision would especially affect people who already experience barriers to health care, like those with low incomes and who are disproportionately Black, Latino, Indigenous, and other communities of color.

Luckily, Minnesota is a unique state in that our Minnesota Supreme Court found that abortion is protected in our state constitution in 1995. While abortion is legal and protected in Minnesota, access to abortion care remains too restricted to accommodate everyone who may come to our state seeking an abortion. We will be doing everything we can to protect and expand reproductive rights.


The Energy Assistance Program can help with energy and water bills

The Minnesota Commerce Department encourages households that are struggling with energy bills to apply for the Energy Assistance Program, with up to $2,000 available to eligible households. In addition, as part of the Federal relief funding, there is help for household to pay past due water bills.

Households can apply for help with both energy and water bills through the Energy Assistance application. For more information and to find your local service provider, go to the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program webpage. You can also call 1-800-657-3710 for more information.

Energy Assistance flyers are available in English, Español/Spanish, Hmoob/Hmong, and Soomaali/Somali.

Water Assistance flyers are also available in English, Español/Spanish, Hmoob/Hmong, and Soomaali/Somali.


Keep In Touch

Contact me anytime you have questions or need help at or 651-296-4201.

Enjoy the weekend!

In solidarity,

Jay Xiong

State Representative