With less than a month to go in session, my fellow legislators and I are continuing to spend many hours on the Senate floor working to set a state budget. While these omnibus bills bring much debate, we aim to pass a budget that is sensible for Minnesota after a tough year.
The Jobs Omnibus will put economic recovery for all of Minnesota at the forefront of everything we do. Our community has been hit hard by a year of restrictions and shutdowns, and this bill provides financial resources to businesses to help our local employers thrive and grow as we emerge from the pandemic.
Similarly, the Agriculture Omnibus will help our rural communities by providing targeted investments to address shortcomings in our current agriculture system that have been exposed by the pandemic, including problems with the availability of meat processors and the extensive financial and mental strain on our farmers.
As we further enter Spring and Summer, it is great to note that the Environment Omnibus will help protect our lakes and rivers, wildlife, and our outdoor traditions. Minnesotans take pride in caring for the land and this provides commonsense protections for the environment without burdensome government regulations.
In the past year, I have heard from many constituents with concerns about public safety. The Judiciary Omnibus bill focuses on keeping Minnesotans safe, gives crime victims the justice they deserve and provides increased support to our probation and corrections officers as they oversee offenders serving out their sentences.
In addition to the Judiciary Omnibus, there have been a couple of other notable measures pursued this session to keep our communities safe. This year the Senate’s Transportation Committee approved a bill that will crackdown on distracted and reckless drivers who ignore school bus stop arms to help make sure kids are safe when they are at the bus stop. I find it unacceptable that we must even consider that this level of irresponsibility and inattentiveness occurs around children and school buses. We won’t let this continue. I am proud of my colleagues for bringing awareness to this issue and I hope Minnesotans will be reminded of the importance of abiding by stop-arm laws. Priceless life is at stake.
Additionally, on Monday I voted in favor of emergency funding for law enforcement, as requested by Governor Walz. During these tumultuous times, it is vitally important for all of us to feel safe in our own homes, communities, and streets. The bill, S.F. 2441 secures $2.75 million for the law enforcement response to civil unrest through the Interstate Emergency Management Assistance Compact and $6.3 million for Minnesota State Trooper expenses related to the unrest and Chauvin trial. In regards to the Chauvin trial; our American jury system works.
I remain committed to fighting for your needs at the Capitol in any way I can. I am always available to talk and encourage you to reach out to my office with your questions, comments, and concerns. My phone number is 651-295-5655 or you can email me at Sen.Mary.Kiffmeyer@senate.mn