MY LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
Minnesota is rated as one of the best quality-of-life states. But we still face many challenges. Here are Bonnie’s top legislative priorities.
I want to hold up “the Minnesota Model” of healthcare delivery as a way to make our healthcare systems more cost-effective by rewarding health care providers for outcomes rather than paying them for the number of services they provide. It is also time that we ensure access to healthcare for all Minnesotans. As your State Senator, I will:
- Support every woman’s right to be in control of her own healthcare decisions and her own body, including abortion care and reproductive health; and oppose any attempt to restrict a woman’s access to abortion and birth control.
- Support universal, affordable healthcare for all Minnesotans through the Minnesota Health Plan
- Promote policies that reward healthcare providers for outcomes rather than more expensive fee-per-service healthcare delivery
- Ensure that everyone has access to mental health coverage
- Support a mental health system that better meets the needs of Minnesotans who have mental illnesses and/or chemical dependency issues.
- Ensure adequate support for the Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP) and other prevention initiatives.
- Ensure equity in healthcare for Minnesotans with disabilities
- Increase funding for group homes, including increasing pay for aides and providers working in group home settings
I will work to eliminate the opportunity gap, expand learning opportunities for all learners, and ensure that Minnesota continues to have one of the most highly educated workforces in the nation. As your State Senator, I will:
- Increase funding for early childhood and K-12 education.
Implement high-quality, universal preschool for all 4-year-olds.
- Ensure proper funding for all schools, regardless of their ZIP code.
- Attract and retain quality teachers by paying teachers for the true value of their labor
- Adopt student loan forgiveness programs to recruit teachers from underrepresented groups.
- Invest in professional development opportunities for our educators.
- Provide funding for additional mental health providers, ESPs, school nurses and establish appropriate minimum student to counselor ratios
- Make higher education more affordable by holding down tuition costs and reducing student debt.
Democracy and Voting Rights
The freedom to vote is a fundamental right granted to us by the US Constitution. Minnesota is fortunate to have a highly engaged citizenry, consistently ranking as a top 3 voter turnout state nearly every election cycle. Minnesotans know that voting should be easy and there should be multiple methods for voting early, up to and on election day, including voting by mail and same-day registration. Voting should also be, and already is, safe and secure. Accepting the legitimate results of elections is foundational to the success of our democracy. As your State Senator, I will work to increase access for all Minnesota voters and will obstruct efforts to undermine public confidence in our elections.
Environment and Climate Collapse
A large majority of Minnesotans, myself included, believe that our environment is something to be treasured and protected for generations to come. I believe that it is the right of every Minnesotan to have access to clean air, water, and a healthy community. As your State Senator, I will advocate for:
- Legislation to move towards a clean air future by cutting our greenhouse gas emissions in half 50% by 2030 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
- Initiatives that will ensure that our children and grandchildren have clean water in their lakes, streams, and aquifers.
- Creating systems to ensure that communities have the tools and support necessary to adapt to the challenges of a changing climate and engage successfully in the decisions that affect them as we transition to a clean, renewable economy. We need to create a climate master plan to provide a roadmap to achieving goals.
- Investing in green jobs and green energy so we can focus on building up our renewable energy infrastructure, providing good paying, union jobs.
- Funding electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure to encourage the transition to EVs, including requirements for minimum EV ready spaces and charging stations for new or remodeled commercial properties and multi-family housing units structures
- Establish a state incentive program for purchasing new and used electric vehicles
- Weatherization programs for individuals and commercial properties to improve energy efficiency and lower emissions from buildings.
- Requiring the state to purchase low carbon steel and cement for building and infrastructure projects.
- Support sustainable agriculture practices such as drip irrigation
- Push for divestment of state resources and funds from fossil fuel companies.
- Encourage the Governor to sign onto the multistate memorandum of understanding on Zero Emission Vehicles and commit to transitioning medium and heavy-duty vehicles to electric.
Racial and Social Justice
I am fully committed to addressing racial and social justice issues in Minnesota and dismantling the systemic, structural racism that permeates every institution and corner of our society.
We do not need more empty conversations. We need concrete action.
Those of us who occupy spaces of privilege need to do a deep examination of our participation in these systems and structures of racism, and how our own individual beliefs, conscious and unconscious, contribute to upholding those systems. Then we need to begin the personal and communal work of dismantling those systems. In practical terms, racial and social justice work includes ensuring a world-class education for every child; universal, affordable access to healthcare; living wage jobs and affordable housing.
Gun Violence Prevention
Gun injuries and deaths are a public health crisis in our country. Gun violence deaths are now the leading cause of death for children in the US. This is simply unacceptable. We have had no success in Minnesota passing common sense gun violence prevention measures that have broad, bipartisan public support and that have been proven to reduce gun deaths. I strongly support:
- Expanding background checks on all gun sales in Minnesota.
- Extreme risk protection order (ERPO) also known as Red Flag legislation.
I will co-author and work to pass these bills my first year in office.
Job creation and the economy
I will help develop an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. As your State Senator, I will:
- Keep Minnesota a competitive place to do business, for small, family-owned businesses and large companies alike.
- Create more opportunities for low-income Minnesotans to fully engage in the economy.
- Help and encourage employers to recruit, attract, train and retain a more diverse workforce.
- Support mandatory paid family and medical leave and earned safe and sick time laws
- Confront the challenge of racial and economic disparities.
- Invest in the infrastructure of our public colleges and universities, which are facing critical facilities needs, such as repairing leaking roofs and cracked walls.
- Invest in the maintenance of our economic infrastructure, including bonding investments that create good-paying jobs and increase private investment opportunities through public-private partnerships.
- Improve incomes for all Minnesotans so that everyone has the opportunity to earn a good living, support their family, and retire securely.
- Invest in minority-owned businesses and small businesses.
I support making public safety reforms that work for everyone, including communities and local police, holding police accountable to the communities they serve, and improving training for officers so all of our families are safe. Some reforms I support are:
- Rep. Cedric Frazier’s bill, HF2724, provides a comprehensive, innovative approach to both crime prevention and police training/accountability, as well as investment in community violence prevention organizations.
- Addressing root causes of crime, including poverty, addiction and mental health issues.
- Providing support professionals, such as social workers and addiction counselors, to assist law enforcement.
- Support intervention and diversion programs for those on probation to prevent recidivism.
- Support community policing initiatives that incentivize hiring from within police department jurisdictions.
I understand the importance of public safety, and am prepared to confront the issues to make Minnesota a safer place for everyone, no matter where they live or what they look like.
I will work to fund a comprehensive transportation package, including a long-term plan for repairing and maintaining our transportation infrastructure, which will lift more Minnesotans out of poverty, expand transit service in rural communities, and help narrow racial disparities in access to reliable transportation. I will support:
- Efficient, affordable, and accessible transportation.
Rapid transit bus lines across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area that will help put 500,000 more Minnesotans within a 30-minute commute of their workplace.
- Adopting a dedicated funding mechanism to provide secure, reliable funding for transportation.
- Subsidizing public transit fares to increase access.
- Expanding Metro Transit services including Light Rail Transit expansion projects and expansion of rail and bus services to Exurbs and rural communities.
- Innovative, sustainable transportation projects such as a high-speed rail line connecting the Twin Cities to Duluth, Rochester and beyond.