After almost a decade in the Senate, Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen today shared the following letter to her constituents about her future plans:
Dear Constituents and Friends:
When I became a candidate for the Minnesota Senate in 2012, I was driven by the idea that public policy is a powerful tool for building strong and prosperous communities, and that dedicated people working together can accomplish anything.
Nearly a decade later, those ideas still drive my work and my commitment to public service. I’m proud of the work I’ve accomplished with my Democratic colleagues in the legislature, as well as with a great many of my Republican colleagues who worked with me to solve problems for our state in the spirit and tradition of Minnesota bipartisanship.
After careful consideration of the changes brought on by redistricting, I’ve decided I will not be seeking re-election to the Minnesota Senate. I intend to continue to serve in my leadership role with my caucus until the end of my term. As I step away from elected office into the next chapter of my career, I can assure you that I will continue to dedicate my work to the prosperity of our state and the issues that matter most to Minnesotans.
Words can’t describe the immense feeling of gratitude I have for my constituents across the district. It has been my honor and privilege to bring your voice to the floor of the Minnesota Senate. I am also grateful to my husband, Nathan, my boys Philip and Arthur, for being my most patient constituents as they shared me with the district we cherish and call home.
With warmest regards,
Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen’s Record of Accomplishment
Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen has spent a decade as a strong voice for the families, communities, and businesses of Senate District 49. And – as the leader of her Caucus – she’s pushed to improve the lives of people in communities across Minnesota. During three terms in the Senate, she has successfully worked with lawmakers of both parties to create a record of accomplishment.
In 2021, she was elected to lead the DFL Caucus by her fellow Senators, a post she will hold until her current term ends in January 2023. She is also the Caucus lead on the Rules and Administration Committee, and serves on the Finance Committee, as well as being member of the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research.
While she represents a suburban district, Sen. López Franzen has been intentional in reaching out to Minnesota’s rural communities to learn firsthand about issues that impact them. She regularly attends FarmFest near Redwood Falls each summer and has been an active member of the Farmers Union, Minnesota Corn Growers, and the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association. As a small business owner, she is a member of Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.
A Successful Legislative Record
During Senator López Franzen’s time in the Senate, she’s enacted legislation to cut taxes for families with young children and for businesses across the state. On health care, she led successful efforts to bring down prescription drug prices for Minnesotans; and on education, she pushed hard to ensure students get the STEM training they need to fill the in-demand jobs of the 21st Century. She’s also worked to enact measures that protect students who take out loans to finance their education, and to enable parents with disabilities to better care for their children.
After carbon monoxide poisoning tragically took the life of 7-year-old Sophia Baechler – one of her constituents – in 2015 during a Lake Minnetonka boat ride, Senator López Franzen authored the nation’s first law – known as Sophia’s Law – to require carbon monoxide detectors on boats. She has been the chief author of legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in Minnesota, and was the only Senator to get a hearing on the topic in the Republican-led Senate.
Below is information on her successful legislative efforts in the Senate.
- Business tax relief: During her first term in the Senate in 2013, she carried the bill that delivered a $346.5 million tax cut to employers by reducing the Unemployment Insurance tax rate for businesses (SF 619)
- Early Learning scholarships and tax credits: A champion of early childhood education throughout her time in the Senate, carrying bills to fund early childhood scholarships and tax credits to help parents and early childhood educators improve quality care. (SF 606)
- Robotics / STEM advocacy: Led STEM Day at the Capitol and carried legislation that established robotics hubs for students across Minnesota. (SF 1740)
- Youth intervention programming: A long-time supporter of youth intervention programming, including authoring this year’s bill to fully fund the program (SF 2989)
- Prescription drug prices: Stood up to big Pharma and spiking prescription drug costs by authoring the bills to reform the Prior Authorization process and help regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers (SF 593, SF 237)
- Student Borrowers Bill of Rights: Chief authored the bill that led to the Student Borrowers Bill of Rights that passed in 2021, requiring student loan services to be licensed and provide more transparency to borrowers (SF1484)
- Sophia’s law: Authored the bill that made Minnesota the first state in the nation to require carbon monoxide detectors on boats, in response to the tragic death of 7-year-old Sophia Baechler on Lake Minnetonka. (SF 2678)
- Legal, adult-use cannabis: Chief author of the bill to legalize adult-use, recreational cannabis in Minnesota, and the only Senator to receive a hearing on the topic in the Republican-led Senate. (SF 619)
- Parents with disabilities: Carried the bill to pilot supportive services to assist parents with disabilities with parenting-related tasks. (SF 296)
About Senator López Franzen
Senator López Franzen’s district includes the communities of Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Edina. She lives in Edina with her husband Nathan and sons Philip (6) and Arthur (5).
She is the Co-Founder and President of NewPublica, a public relations and strategic communications firm. She started her career as an attorney at Target Corporation for eight years where she held several roles, titles, and responsibilities in Target’s Government Affairs and Community Relations division.
Senator López Franzen holds a Master of Public Policy with a concentration in Economic and Community Development from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and holds a J.D. from Hamline University’s School of Law.