It was a busy week at the Capitol. The Senate passed the hands-free cellphone legislation off the floor which requires drivers to use their cellphones in a ‘hands-free’ mode, only allowing voice-activated commands or other actions that need one-touch activation. The bill would enact enforcement and penalties for using a cellphone outside of hands-free mode. The differences between the House and Senate bills will be worked out conference committee, but this initiative is one step closer to becoming law.
The Snow Days conference committee also closed up this week, and the bill passed off the floor with strong bipartisan support and will likely be signed into law by Gov. Walz. This bill would aid Minnesota schools struggling with snow days by shortening their academic calendar without penalty amid the extraordinary winter of class cancellations. It will also ensure hourly school workers are compensated for their work.
Last Friday, Gov. Tim Walz released his revised budget proposal. The DFL House and Republican Senate also released their budget recommendations this week. The three budgets provide an opportunity to highlight the difference in values in divided government. Both the Walz and House budgets strengthen communities across the state through honest and stable investments to improve education opportunities, increase access to affordable health care, and provide economic prosperity no matter where you live or what you look like.
In contrast, the Senate Republican budget gives taxpayer money to religious schools, underfunds our health care systems, and jeopardizes our budget security through irresponsible choices that could leave future budget gaps and even send the state back into budget deficits.
It’s time to be honest about our budget. We can continue down the path of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, leading to more teacher layoffs, unfilled potholes, and people losing health care and basic economic security. Or, we can make honest investments in the things Minnesotans care about: affordable health care, great schools, and prosperity for communities across the state.
Members of MinneMinds, Greater Twin Cities United Way, advocates for early learning, educators, parents, and legislators joined together to rally for support of child care and education in Minnesota.
The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) shared a Day on the Hill this week.
Over a hundred children, caregivers, and other advocates eagerly congregated at the Capitol this week to call on legislators to support and fund the futures of Minnesota’s youth.
Advocates and survivors joined at the Capitol this week to take a stand against the perpetuation of domestic violence in Minnesota.
DFL members introduced legislation this week that would bring accountability and transparency to the student loan industry in Minnesota.