Sen. Scott Dibble, Rep. Frank Hornstein (61A), and Rep. Jamie Long (61B) hosted a celebratory town hall on March 29 and spent an hour answering questions from the standing-room only crowd at the Linden Hills Recreation Center.
Over 100 people gathered to hear from the DFL leaders, who visited the 61B district with a lot of good news. The forum began with the legislators highlighting a long list of bills that have already passed one or both chambers, including protecting rights to abortions and providing free meals at schools. Attendees clapped after each bill was announced.
The legislators answered written questions from the audience. Many questions asked about the status of legislation that had yet to be passed by the House or Senate, such as the End-of-Life Option Act, the Equal Rights Amendment bill, and gun safety laws.
There was a robust discussion about the transportation work being done and Hornstein, the self-described “transportation chair that doesn't drive" argued that the "Met Council needs to be elected," referring to House and Senate proposals to convert the Metropolitan Council to an elected body. Right now, the governor appoints people to the council. The Met Council has been under fire for how it has handled the Southwest light rail project, especially in the Cedar Isles Dean area.
The legislators also talked about State funding for special education and English language learner subsidies shortfalls at Minneapolis Public Schools and the work being done to connect youth experiencing homelessness with resources. Legislators also heard concerns from the audience about changes to the public education tiered licensure system that has the potential to impact teachers of color.
Long thanked the audience for their “tremendous engagement” this year.
“Your priorities really matter,” Hornstein said, as a reminder to keep calling and emailing your elected legislators.