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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Sandell (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 19, 2021

Monday, April 19, 2021

Dear neighbors,  

This year has been tough. There’s been pain and loss caused by the pandemic, anguish resulting from George Floyd’s death and the recognition of injustices, the assault on our government in Washington, and now the death of Daunte Wright challenging our system of justice again.  

Making laws, balancing revenues with expenditures, and directing the policies of state agencies will not be without differences or difficulty in the next month. We’ve made some progress, however, and though the next few weeks will be crowded, I’m optimistic that we’ll be able to deal with the issues in front of us and provide the services all of you expect and deserve.  

Every member of our House DFL caucus is working to address issues of injustice and to make sure everyone in Minnesota is safe and able to thrive. We are advancing legislation that would:  

  • Allow local governments to establish civilian oversight councils  
  • Support community organizations working to prevent crime 
  • Prohibit altering, destroying, or withholding body camera footage  
  • Prohibit white supremacists from becoming peace officers  
  • Limit the use of no-knock warrants  
  • Strengthen the police officer misconduct database and build an early warning system to identify bad officers and keep them off the streets  

Developing a State Budget  

In addition to advocating for safe communities, we are developing a state budget for the next two years. We’ve put together a series of budget and policy proposals – often called “omnibus bills” – that contain individual bills we heard during the legislative session. Our plans for each area of the budget (Education, Health and Human Services, and so on) will help Minnesotans weather what’s left of the pandemic and thrive after it ends.  

We spent the past few weeks vetting the omnibus bills in committees, adopting amendments, and, most importantly, listening to constituents. If you want to learn more about our proposals, check out the articles published by Session Daily, which provide nonpartisan summaries of legislation and links to more information. You can also watch public hearings and floor sessions on House Public Information Services’ YouTube channel. I’ll continue sharing information about the various omnibus bills, as well as updates on our progress.    


Providing Safe and Affordable Housing  

Minnesotans deserve to have a safe, secure place to call home. We were experiencing an affordable housing shortage well before the pandemic, and this crisis has intensified over the past year. The Housing omnibus bill, which the House approved last week, aims to help Minnesotans who are facing housing instability. It invests in increasing the housing supply, connecting more people with homeownership opportunities, and closing racial gaps in homeownership. The bill also includes stronger protections for renters, addresses eviction, and helps those who provide rental housing. I was happy to cast my vote for this legislation.  


Investing in the Outdoors, Clean Water, Arts and Culture  

As Minnesotans, we care deeply about our state. That’s why voters approved the Legacy Amendment, a constitutional amendment that generates funds to make Minnesota an even better place to live and work. Since 2010, the Legacy Amendment has generated more than $3.65 billion for initiatives to benefit people and communities across the state. Last week the House passed the Legacy omnibus bill, legislation that invests in the outdoors, clean water, arts and culture. Investing in these priorities will protect the things that make our state special and benefit current and future generations of Minnesotans.  


Take My Legislative Survey  

Having as much input as possible is important to me as we enter the last few weeks of the legislative session. If you’re willing to share your thoughts, please take a few minutes to respond to my legislative survey.  


Stay in Touch 

Finally, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in my latest virtual town hall. I appreciate the thoughtful questions and feedback that you shared. If you weren’t able to join me, Rep. Xiong, and Sen. Kent, you can watch the event here.  

Please call or email me if you have any questions or comments for me. You can call me at 651-224-2152 or send a note to rep.steve.sandell@house.mn.  

Sincerely,  

Steve Sandell  
State Representative  

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