Vice Chair of Environment, Economic Development and Agriculture
Member of Environment and Energy
Member of Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development
Chair of St. Paul Senate Delegation
Chair of Land Subcommittee
Board of Council on Asian Minnesotans
Board of Council on Black Minnesotans
Member of Council of State Government: Economic Development Committee
Check the calendar to attend our public events.
2013 End of Session Report
2013 Legislative Session presented many challenges and important choices.
When I look back at our accomplishments, I am proud to see numerous
St. Paul-related bills now signed into law. Not only did I lead some
of these local accomplishments, but I actively supported legislation
that honestly balanced Minnesota's budget and invests in our future.
While I am new to politics, I am not new to helping people. And this
year, we helped thousands of Minnesotans by investing in job creation,
education, property tax relief, and new initiatives to grow the middle
Senator of District 67, I successfully passed bi-partisan legislation
adding an adult basic education program advisor to the Governor's Workforce
Development Council. I’ve learned from volunteering and working with
many diverse groups on St. Paul’s East Side the importance of including
many different voices in community planning and decisions. This bill
ensures all stakeholders will have a seat at the workforce discussion
of bills I authored also passed as provisions in this year's omnibus
bills. Included in the Jobs and Economic Development Omnibus Budget
is $1.5 million for the Minnesota Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs to
administer a statewide youth jobs skills development program. The Neighborhood
Development Center in St. Paul, a non-profit organization that helps
new entrepreneurs and small business start-ups, also received funding
through the Jobs Budget bill. Both of these programs build Minnesota’s
workforce and strengthen our communities through the support of business
St. Paul projects receiving support in FY 14-15 are the Ordway Center's
concert hall construction and Como Zoo habitat preservation exhibit
restoration. Our area parks and trails will also receive funding this
year through the Legacy Omnibus Bill.
these local projects, I helped the legislature make a historic $735
million investment in education for all learners--from early education
scholarships and voluntary all-day kindergarten to a major investment
in direct financial aid and a two year tuition freeze for all U of M
and MnSCU schools. We also passed significant education policy reforms
such as replacing the GRAD test with exams that better evaluate students’
college and career readiness. This new funding and reform will help
give our kids access to a world-class education and prepare Minnesota
students for the 21st Century workforce.
2013 legislature also made great strides in providing health care coverage
to more Minnesotans. Early in session, I co-authored legislation that
provides access to quality health care coverage for an additional 35,000
low-income adults. Not only does this expansion save Minnesota an expected
$129 million for FY 2014-2015, but it means thousands of low-income
children, families, and individuals will be able to see doctors sooner
and live healthier lives.
informative meetings with constituents and my legislative work this
session, I have gained a new understanding of the everyday struggles
Minnesotan's experience. More importantly though, I’ve developed a
boundless optimism about what is possible when we work together. It
is with this mindset that I approached my new leadership post this year
and I will continue developing it as your State Senator.