The Senate this week unanimously approved new contracts for our outstanding state employees. The House also passed the bill with near unanimous support, and Governor Dayton has already signed it into law. As a result, more than 30,000 Minnesotans will receive a raise. The Senate also unanimously passed important legislation to begin shoring up the state’s endangered pension fund.
State lawmakers are leaving Saint Paul for a one-week legislative recess. The mid-session milestone is an important opportunity for senators to return to their districts, visit with constituents, and have face-to-face conversations about the work being done at the Capitol.
Students, legislators, and supporters took to the streets this week and marched to the Minnesota State Capitol to protest the inaction of legislation addressing gun violence. These students, along with students across the country, chose to not be silent and are leading the country’s debate on combatting gun violence.
In response to the historic March for Our Lives, DFL senators joined high school students and Minnesotans of diverse backgrounds to announce the Senate’s first comprehensive plan to address the epidemic of gun violence in our society. Click here to watch full video of the announcement.
An existing plan introduced in the Senate focuses on school security. By contrast, the new plan is the first comprehensive, multipronged approach to address gun violence introduced in the Senate this year.
Advocates held a press conference this week to raise awareness of a Republican plan to require some Medicaid recipients to participate in work activities in order to receive health care. This change could potentially cut off health care coverage for thousands of Minnesotans who cannot work or find a job. Adding new barriers to health care for low-income people is short-sighted and counterproductive.
Governor Mark Dayton held a press conference this week to highlight the importance of permanent funding for preK education in Minnesota. In 2017, the Minnesota Legislature provided new one-time funding for this important program for some communities. Today, approximately 6,100 four-year-olds are attending free, school-based preK.
The Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women held a rally this week at the State Capitol for Minnesotans against domestic violence. The theme of their rally was “We Believe.”
They came to the Capitol to emphasize how much they believe in the power of survivors.
Governor Dayton held a press conference this week to urge the Minnesota Legislature to support and pass his proposal to invest $30 million in rural broadband. These funds would leverage more than $38 million in additional local and private investments and help 11,000 more homes, businesses, and community institutions access reliable and affordable internet service.
The Senate Republican safe schools revenue legislation was heard this week in the Education Finance Committee for a third time.
The Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee heard a bill this week that pits walleye anglers against muskellunge anglers in a long-standing controversy that has been simmering for several years.
The Penny a Pill opioid bill was heard in Finance Committee this week and laid over for possible inclusion in the health and human services omnibus bill.
A bill was passed by the State Government Committee to prohibit unions from collecting fair share dues from nonmembers to fund the nonpolitical activities of unions.
As Minnesotans wrap up filing their 2017 taxes this month, the Legislature is already focused on next year’s tax deadline.