Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) released their budget forecast today, showing a projected $7.7 billion positive fund balance. This historic forecast gives us an opportunity to take advantage of our strengthening economy by investing in important priorities. Now the budget numbers have been released and it’s time to make decisions to strengthen our middle class, help those most affected by COVID-19 and pave the way for increased economic growth for all Minnesotans. I’m ready to get to work to make Minnesota the best place to live and thrive. You can read my full statement here.
2022 Legislative Session
We are only a few weeks from the beginning of the 2022 legislative session, which convenes on January 31. During the short legislative interim, I have been meeting with constituents, businesses, and others to not only talk about last session’s work, but what lies ahead. I’ll continue to meet with our local partners to advance the following:
This legislative session, I carried a bill (HF 1432) to increase protections for vulnerable adults. This important measure passed every House committee with broad, bipartisan support, but stalled in the senate. All vulnerable people across the state should get the help they deserve, and I won’t stop until this legislation becomes law.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) also reached out about addressing how reports of maltreatment of vulnerable adults get screened for investigation. Currently, if a vulnerable adult is Caucasian, about 45% of reports are investigated. If they are black/African American, then only 20% are reviewed. We must address the unacceptable discrepancy/disparity.
More Electric Vehicles
Every year, there are more electric vehicles on the road. All major car manufacturers have said by 2035 they will primarily be releasing electric vehicles. I will continue to support making investments in our charging infrastructure during the 2022 session.
Changes in Jury Selection Process
A new bill I’m working on would make changes to the jury selection process in specific cases. For example, if a potential juror was a sexual assault survivor and is called to serve on a sexual assault case, currently, they could be instructed to truthfully answer a questionnaire, potentially including whether they were ever a victim of sexual assault. We know many sexual assault survivors don’t report and are reluctant to share their story. This questionnaire puts them in a position where they are forced to share their story or lie about their experience, potentially resulting in penalties. I’m working with advocacy groups and the judiciary committee to improve this process. The concern is with the constitutional separation of powers, the judicial branch could completely ignore our efforts, so there are many details to work out.
Omicron Variant in Minnesota
The new COVID-19 Omicron variant has arrived in Minnesota and our public health professionals are monitoring the situation. Let’s do whatever we can to keep everyone safe, including getting your first or second COVID-19 dose, or the booster shot.
Contact your health plan or nearest pharmacy to get your first or second dose, or booster. And don’t forget to get your annual flu shot. The best holiday gift is the keeping healthy and protecting others. Let’s do this together!
Also, a reminder that eligible Minnesotans 5 and older can also get their first and second COVID-19 vaccines. The state of Minnesota has launched a new webpage to help parents and guardians find a vaccine for children aged 5-11 and answer questions about the vaccine. You can also call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Public Hotline at 1-833-431-2053 Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sat., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Name a Snowplow
The success of MNDOT’s snowplow naming contest has prompted a repeat! Use your creativity and have some fun to name the snowplows you may see on the road. Learn more here.
Stay connected with the Legislature
I welcome your questions and comments anytime. You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or can also call my legislative assistant, Spencer Crose at 651-297-8129.
Also, please visit and “like” my Facebook page for more Capitol and community updates.
Thank you for the privilege of representing you in the legislature.
District 19B – email@example.com