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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Emma Greenman (DFL)

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Legislative Update - July 2, 2021

Friday, July 2, 2021

Dear Neighbors, 

Yesterday we adjourned the 2021 special session after finishing our work to pass the state budget. As the only divided legislature in the country, it was a hard fought negotiation to finalize a state budget that invests in our kids, families, communities, small businesses, and environment. Democrats in the House fought hard to ensure that every budget bill we passed took an approach that advanced equity and focused our resources on the Minnesotans who need them most. 

In the days and months ahead, I look forward to conversations in our community about the details of the budget that strengthen our communities and the places where it falls short. Although we’ve passed the budget, our work to pass policy that benefits Minnesotans - of every background, race, zip code, and generation - has only begun, and I look forward to doing that work with you.


The new budget contains robust investments that will improve Minnesotans’ lives. We delivered the largest increase in funding for public schools in 15 years, significant investments in public health, tax cuts for workers impacted by COVID-19, funding for clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives, rental assistance, grants to expand access to affordable child care, and more. However, Senate Republicans refused to support several of the things we fought for and approved in the House, including several police reform and accountability measures, measures to strengthen our democracy and the freedom to vote, strong action on climate change, earned safe and sick time, and paid family and medical leave. I will continue pushing for meaningful progress in these critical areas. 

State Government, Elections, and Veterans Budget  

The State Government, Elections, and Veterans bill is the workhorse of the budget; it invests in the critical infrastructure of our state government and the people who make our state work. The budget we passed earlier this week ends Governor Walz’s emergency powers and provides the resources to: 

  • Enforce wage theft laws that ensure workers are paid what they’re owned 
  • Strengthen access to absentee voting with funding for local election administrators and new guidelines for ballot drop boxes 
  • Fund the Market Bucks program so SNAP/EBT users can get healthy and affordable produce at farmers’ markets 
  • Give veterans who end up in the criminal justice system a second chance through the Veterans Restorative Justice Act

As a member of the conference committee that developed this budget, I pushed back against Senate Republicans and their efforts to restrict the vote with voter ID and provisional balloting laws. We successfully defended Minnesota’s proud traditions of same-day registration and voter participation, but we have more work to do in order to build a strong, inclusive democracy centered on the voices of Minnesotans. You can watch my floor speech on this bill here.

Public Safety and Judiciary Budget 

We need a public safety and judiciary system where every Minnesotan is safe and respected. At this critical moment, Minnesotans asked us to pass meaningful police accountability reforms, and the House responded by passing them in the House’s public safety budget bill. But in the Conference Committee, we hit the brick wall of Senate Republican opposition and the House was unable to get key accountability measures into the final compromise bill. We know it is not enough and that the work continues. In this budget, we were able to secure the following changes:

  • Restrictions on no-knock warrants 
  • An early warning system to help keep bad officers off the streets 
  • A policy that encourages trained crisis teams - not just police officers - to respond to calls for mental health assistance
  • Increased use of sign and release warrants instead of arrest warrants
  • Support for community organizations working to prevent violence, perform youth outreach, support community healing, address mental health needs, and support survivors 

Additional measures aim to decriminalize poverty, help more survivors of sexual assault get justice, and prevent violence against Black and Indigenous women and girls with steps like establishing an Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives. These changes will help make our systems more equitable, but we know more change is needed to prevent the deaths of Black, Brown, and Indigenous Minnesotans at the hands of law enforcement and ensure everyone can receive justice.

E-12 Education Budget 

To set students up for success, we need to make strong, equitable investments in public education. Our E-12 Education budget contains the largest increase in funding for public schools in 15 years. It increases per-pupil funding by 2.45 percent for the coming year and an additional 2 percent the following year. Under the new formula, Minneapolis Public Schools will receive $304 more per student next year and $474 more the year after that. Richfield Public Schools will see per-pupil increases of $367 and $526 during that period. 

This funding will help our schools retain teachers, keep class sizes from growing, and provide academic and emotional support for students who experienced learning disruptions and other challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The budget also preserves voluntary pre-K opportunities, addresses special education and English learner cross-subsidies, and invests in recruiting and retaining teachers of color and Indigenous teachers with scholarships and other tools.

Health and Human Services Budget 

The Health and Human Services budget will help more Minnesotans get the care they need and address racial disparities in our health care system. There’s lots of great things in this budget, but here are some of the highlights: 

  • Significant investments in public health
  • Grants to help expand access to affordable child care
  • A pay raise for personal care attendants (PCAs) and additional support for home- and community-based services to help people live independently
  • Several measures that will improve maternal and infant health and reduce disparities, including a policy that extends Medical Assistance coverage for Minnesotans who’ve given birth from 60 days postpartum to a full year 
  • Expanded services and support for Minnesotans at risk of or experiencing homelessness

Jobs and Labor Budget

Our Jobs and Labor budget prioritizes the economic security of workers, families, and small businesses. It invests in: 

  • Grants for small businesses, with funding targeted to the smallest businesses and those owned by BIPOC Minnesotans, women, and veterans
  • Assistance to help rebuild the Last Street, University Avenue, and West Broadway neighborhoods 
  • Funding to expand the supply of child care across the state

Tax Bill

As we emerge from the pandemic, we need to ensure all Minnesotans have the resources they need to thrive. The Tax bill we passed yesterday makes it possible to invest in education, health care, and economic security for all. It includes: 

  • An expansion of the Working Family Tax Credit 
  • Tax cuts for workers impacted by COVID-19, including those who received unemployment insurance benefits 
  • Aid for counties to fund services and programs that prevent family homelessness

More Information about the State Budget 

I’ll provide more in-depth information about the budget in the coming weeks. If you’d like to read more about a particular area of the budget, you can click on the following links for a nonpartisan summary from House Public Information Services: LegacyAgriculture and BroadbandHigher EducationCommerce, Climate, and EnergyTransportationHousingEnvironment and Natural ResourcesJobs and LaborE-12 EducationHealth and Human ServicesPublic Safety and JudiciaryState Government, Elections, and Veterans; and Taxes.

Minnesota Reaches Vaccination Benchmark

Thanks to the efforts of many Minnesotans, more than 70 percent of the adults in our state have been vaccinated, reaching the goal set by President Biden and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in advance of the July 4 deadline. I encourage everyone who hasn’t been vaccinated yet to get their shot as soon as possible!

Stay in Touch 

Now that we’ve finished passing a budget, I’m looking forward to spending more time in our community and to continuing conversations about how we can better ensure all Minnesotans have the resources to thrive. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback. You can contact me at or (651) 296-4200.  

I hope you have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July weekend!


Emma Greenman 
State Representative

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