Lowering Costs for Families
In my first session, we wasted no time working to make Minnesota the best state to live, work, and raise a family. Here are just some of the policy changes we made that will lower the cost of living for Minnesotans across our state:
My experience as a public school teacher will continue to guide my decisions in the Senate. I can advocate for students and families in a way others cannot.
In my first session, we provided historic funding in our schools through an increase in the general funding formula. We also linked future funding to inflation and put more funding into ELL and special education. Moreover, we made literacy a priority with the READ Act, providing $74.6 million for evidence-based literacy instruction with a focus on phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and reading comprehension and invested $45 million in a new school library aid program to hire library media specialists.
It's also important to note that students won’t thrive if they’re in a mental health crisis or if they’re hungry. I'm extremely proud to have authored laws that invest millions into providing better resources for mental health as well as Universal School Meals which provides a breakfast and lunch to every K-12 student in Minnesota, no questions asked. Not only does this mean students will get the food they need, it also puts money back in the pockets of our families. In fact, the average family in our district will save over $1800 per year.
I believe we should fund public safety needs. My grandpa was a state trooper, I know how stressful law enforcement jobs can be. I also know that we can do better to protect and serve Minnesotans. I support proven prevention strategies that disrupt criminal activity, stop violence and improve overall public safety. This includes support and early intervention for teenagers, families, and communities. Policing policies should be accountable to the community it serves.
This past session, I kept my promises. I was the chief author of $300 million for public safety for every city, county, and Tribal Nation in Minnesota. Furthermore, I'm passionate about policies that stand up for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault. I'm proud to have authored protections for victims as well as new mental health programs to address trauma. I am also working on more support for addiction resources and access to emergency mental health needs, especially for those in crisis. We can and will make sure Minnesotans feel safe in their communities, no matter what zip code they call home.
Our planet's health requires our full attention. As a member of the Agriculture Committee and lifelong conservationist, I will continue to work to protect and restore our water, farmland, and resources while strengthening our economy through green jobs. Thrilled to be part of several bills that will keep our water clean, our soil healthy, and dangerous toxic chemicals from getting into the products we use daily. I am completely committed to protecting our natural resources and oppose any legislation that causes any further damage to our planet.
An economy that works for some and not for all is insufficient. I’m proud to have supported responsible tax cuts that puts money back in the pockets of families, seniors, and small businesses while protecting Minnesota’s economic stability. We must also lower the costs of goods and services to help you keep more of your hard-earned paycheck.
Job training and retention programs can create the skilled workforce our businesses need, while affordable childcare and high-quality early education options can support working families to succeed in their careers.
Unions promote dignity and fairness in the workplace. Unions help revitalize our economy and democracy by strengthening the middle class.
I will continue to collaborate with labor groups and workers to advocate for change and raise everyone’s standard of living. My priority remains in strenghtening our economy and making our places of work safer and more productive for everyone.
Americans have the highest healthcare spending in the world and Minnesota families feel this. The amount families pay for premiums, co-pays, prescriptions, and their deductible - it’s too much.
Minnesota families should not have to stress over medical bills when they should be focused on getting healthy. Addressing the weaknesses in our current system would allow some financial freedom and stability.
Protection from Government Overreach
The government should stay out of our reproductive decisions. A person's individual belief system around reproduction is their personal choice. When and how we choose to start a family is not the business of any politician. Those decisions are private and personal and should only be between patients and their doctors. Any restriction is government overreach and I oppose all legislation that limits reproductive freedom.
I am committed to fairness and equity for Minnesotans.
As a lawmaker, I was a co-author of the conversion "therapy" ban bill and voted yes on the trans refuge bill. I'm proud to work to create a more inclusive and supportive community for LGBTQ+ folks in schools, sports, the workplace, and anywhere else we see discrimination. Recent GOP-sponsored bills are an example of extremism meant to exclude and divide. These bills do not accurately reflect our Minnesota values.
I am also committed to addressing systems and policies that discriminate against individuals based on their race, religion, or gender. I support real policy changes that address inequity in our laws. I will keep fighting to make sure our community is a place where everyone feels respected, valued, and welcomed.
Veterans deserve to be treated with dignity. We need to use more than words to express our gratitude for their sacrifice and service. As a member of the State and Local Governement and Veterans Committee, I will continue to work with veterans and community groups to serve our service members. I support measures that would end discriminatory housing policies as well as eliminate barriers to affordable housing for veterans. Moreover, the majority of veterans experiencing homelessness in Minnesota have experienced trauma. We need to increase state funding for mental health services in our veteran population.