During my first term in the House, we had a Democratic-Farmer-Labor majority. I had the opportunity to build strong relationships with Governor Dayton and my colleagues in both the House and Senate. We began enacting a progressive agenda that turned Minnesota around, combating a Republican volley of political ploys that put the lives of our state’s poorest residents in peril.
A few highlight accomplishments include raising the minimum wage, expanding access to health care, establishing tax credits to purchase health insurance, enacting meaningful—and bipartisan—criminal justice reform such as Ban the Box and reforming drug sentencing guidelines, investing in children of all ages, helping homeowners avoid foreclosure, providing $100 million for affordable housing, increasing mandatory parental leave from 6 to twelve weeks, providing new workplace protections for working and expecting mothers, and making sure every Minnesotan can marry the person they love.
Craft beer brings a significant economic value to our city’s economy, which is why I wrote the growler bill, allowing small beer breweries to increase their production from 5,000 barrels to 25,000 barrels without losing the ability to operate their taprooms. Taprooms have flourished since my bill was signed into law. I was also a major force behind the Sunday growler sale bill that allowed taprooms to sell growlers on Sunday.
I am especially proud to have played a leading role in the reconstruction of Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. It would not have been possible without the $21.5 million in state bonds that I secured at the legislature with the help of strong partners at the local level and in the private sector. This project is a major step in growing our city and attracting a talented workforce in the downtown core.