Welcome to the first 2023 weekly SEE legislative update.
On January 3, 2023, 134 members of the Minnesota House and 67 members of the State Senate were sworn in. Close to 30% of the 201 lawmakers taking office are new, which I believe will bring new viewpoints to the Legislature. During the first week of committee meetings, legislators introduced themselves and became familiar with general housekeeping rules, I heard many times that they want to move fast and put bills into action.
Democrats are in now control of the House, Senate, and Governors office the “trifecta’ which enables them to pass most bills without republican support. They are coming out strong with bills in hopes to pass them quickly. The House and Senate DFL leaders unveiled their top priorities for the 2023 session. Improving education, filling funding shortfalls, ending student food insecurity, and adding more mental health services were some of their priorities. Gov. Tim Walz wants to put Minnesota children and classrooms at the forefront by using the unheard-of $17.6 billion in surplus to invest in education. January 24, Gov. Walz plans to release his two-year budget, and many will be trying to grab a piece of that pie.
Sen. Steve Cwodzinski, DFL-Eden Prairie, Chairs the Senate Education Policy committee and sits on the Senate Education Finance Committee. Minnesota’s complicated per-pupil formula is not tied to inflation, he is working towards the legislation to tie per-pupil funding to inflation, by doing so, this will help districts during their staffing and budgeting cycles.
During these past two weeks, I have heard many regular educators, special education educators, paraprofessionals, students, and support staff giving testimony on some of the following needs: (HF5
) free breakfast and lunch to all Minnesota elementary and secondary school students, (HF44
) free menstrual products, (HF22
additional funding for English Language Learners, (HF18
) fully fund special education, and ( HF8
) additional student support personnel. As of Wednesday, January 11, the House has introduced 336 bills and as of Thursday, January 12, the Senate has introduced 286 bills. Attached are the bill
Introductions that SEE will be following. Here is a link to all of the House and Senate bills
introduced thus far for the 2023 session.
Here are links to your State leaders
The following are the top committees that SEE will be following:
Make sure to follow Brad’s Blog
as he will be giving daily updates from the Capitol.