It is a great honor to serve our community in the Minnesota House of Representatives. The COVID-19 pandemic brought light to so many injustices that we knew we must confront in the budget. We passed a bipartisan budget to help Minnesotans recover from the pandemic and work towards making our state a more equitable home for all. We made historic investments in education, strengthened health care, and delivered support to workers and small businesses. The steps we took will improve the lives of Minnesotans, but there is more work to be done. I look forward to working with you to create affordable housing, further expand access to health care, address the climate crisis, and reduce racial and economic disparities. Together, we can build a stronger, healthier, and more just Minnesota.
What we've achieved
The pandemic has shown us how important it is to have affordable, high-quality health care. I’ve invested much of my time and energy in improving Minnesota’s public health infrastructure, expanding mental health services, broadening access to specialists for rare and hard to diagnose diseases, and reducing racial disparities. I authored a bill to bring dental care to schools, homeless shelters, and group homes. This should help children and their families get the care they need, hopefully breaking through the barriers of cost, mobility issues, and language or culture. My bill was signed into law as part of a package designed to expand access to dental care. I believe now is the time to step up and support other policies that will ensure every Minnesotan can get the health care they need and deserve. Our zip code, race, or economic position should never prevent us from living long, healthy lives.
Every child in Minnesota deserves a world-class education. We delivered the largest investments in education that our state has made in 15 years. This will help schools retain teachers, keep class sizes from growing, and support students who experienced challenges due to COVID-19. We also took steps to increase the number of teachers of color, preserve pre-k opportunities, and increase funding for special education and English language learner programs. Throughout the pandemic, we saw the importance of a partnership among school staff and parents. We need to make sure this collaboration continues to ensure that every student is prepared for success.
Having a safe and affordable place to call home is the foundation for success. We delivered more services and support for Minnesotans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. We also provided assistance that helped people stay in their homes and prevent mass evictions during the pandemic. I’m chief author of a major expansion of funding for shelter services to help Minnesotans who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. I’ll keep working to create more affordable housing and to help all Minnesotans find affordable and stable housing, no matter where they live or whether they rent or own their home.
As one of the fastest warming states in the country, Minnesota is already experiencing the effects of climate change. We’ve made meaningful progress in securing investments in clean energy and energy efficiency that will create good-paying jobs, lower energy costs, and support the people that climate change affects most. I’m chief author on bills to provide grants putting solar on public buildings, invest in scientific and natural areas, and provide stable funding for our local water quality protectors, Minnesota’s soil and water conservation districts. We also passed legislation to protect Minnesotans from toxic chemicals, improve our parks and trails, and create more chances for people to enjoy the outdoors. I’m chief author on bills to help pedestrians and bicyclists travel safely in and around Eagan and Burnsville, including trails along the Minnesota River and between Lebanon Hills and the Mississippi River. Ensuring that Minnesota is a healthy and safe place for future generations is at the heart of every policy I back.
Minnesota has historically lacked necessary protections for people with disabilities. I introduced legislation to amend the Minnesota Human Rights Act in order to bring it in line with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act regarding disability workplace accommodations. The amendment affirms the responsibility of the Minnesota State Government to enforce the right of Minnesotans to reasonable disability workplace accommodations, as well as to serve as a technical and training resource for Minnesota employers. This amendment passed with unanimous support out of committee, and was signed into law by Governor Walz last summer. I am proud to champion critical legislation that can garner bipartisan support. It shows that, with dedication, the government can work for all of us.