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Legislative Update: Education Policy Bill Passes, Building on Historic 2023 Funding

by Tunae


Laurie Pryor 2023 Banner



This week the House continued to pass substantive policy bills. Yesterday we passed the Education Policy Bill, which picks up where last year’s historic education funding bill left off. I chair the Education Policy Committee and am the author of the bill, which focuses on important measures to give schools flexibility, addresses students’ mental health, eliminates some paperwork, establishes clear protected speech guidelines, and more so the focus can be where it belongs – on our kids. Among the highlights:

  • Requires schools to adopt a policy on student cell phone use.
  • Eliminates unnecessary paperwork so special education teachers can spend more time working with their students and ensures these teachers have the training they need.
  • Requires schools to provide mental health education for students in grades 4-12 (starting in the 2026-27 school year).
  • Creates a process for students to access their mental health services through telehealth.
  • Gives school boards more flexibility by allowing them to implement a four-day school week.
  • Improves state oversight and accountability for charter schools.
  • Adds a measure of whether students are on-track for graduation at the end of 9th grade.
  • Establishes clear guidelines for what is protected and unprotected speech in school newspapers.
  • Expands access to PSEO and Concurrent Enrollment courses so more students can earn college credits for free while in high school.

Video of Thursday’s floor session is available on House Public Information Services YouTube channel.


Election Bill Approved

Earlier in the week, we passed the Elections Policy Bill, which focuses on improved voter access and election transparency. The cornerstone of the Elections Policy bill is making voter registration more accessible and equitable, so all eligible voters have the means and ability to participate in our democracy. The package also expands the ability to request absentee ballots online to all elections, including city-level, with few exceptions. It also requires colleges and universities be provided an early voting location on campus at the request of the institution.

The package includes the Minnesota Voting Right Act (MVRA), which codifies, streamlines, and strengthens the protections against voter suppression and vote dilution under the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Minnesota Voting Rights Act will protect voters from discriminatory voter suppression tactics.

Ticket and Junk Fees Bill Passes

Also on Thursday, the House passed measures cracking down on hidden, deceptive fees to ensure consumers have fair, upfront pricing for event tickets, restaurant meals, hotels, credit cards and more. The first, HF 1989 would improve fee transparency in ticketing and prevent deceptive practices negatively impacting consumers who purchase tickets.

The second, HF 3438 would ban the practice of junk fees. Almost everywhere in our economy, Minnesotans are being nickeled and dimed, overcharged, and underpaid. This price transparency is important for seniors, single moms, and working families.

Child Tax Credit

If you have not yet filed your taxes, make sure to check if you are eligible for the Child Tax Credit. This credit is among other measures passed in the 2023 legislative session to benefit families, seniors, and working-class Minnesotans.

The LCCMR Needs Your Input

The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) needs your help in determining priorities for spending from the state’s lottery- generated Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) for the next six years. Currently, the ENRTF provides $80-90 million per year for environmental, natural resources, and outdoor recreation projects across Minnesota. Make your voice heard by taking this survey now!


Stay connected with the legislature

The Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services offers nonpartisan recaps of high-profile bills, committee hearings, and floor sessions with their Session Daily publication. Subscribe to receive these here. You can track bills of interest with the MyBills feature and for general House of Representatives’ information, click on the website.

Please continue to reach out with any input, ideas, or feedback about the issues important to you. I value hearing from you, so call or email me any time. You can also connect with me on Facebook here. It is an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.

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