What Progressives Can Win for Minnesota in 2023
We have a lot to celebrate in Minnesota lately. This month, the Minnesota legislature passed one of the strongest 100% renewable energy standards in the country – surpassing New York and California. Last month, after 15 hours of floor debate, the PRO ACT, which codifies abortion as a fundamental right and includes contraception, abortion care, family planning services, and more, passed the MN Senate and was then signed into law by Gov. Walz. This makes Minnesota the first state to affirmatively pass abortion legislation since the overturn of Roe vs. Wade. MVP partners Gender Justice and Pro-Choice MN fought hard for the bill, and for the trifecta that made its passage possible.
How did we win all of this? We flipped the Minnesota State Senate – by one seat, which was decided by 321 votes. We flipped a second needed seat by 703 votes. After narrowly winning a Democratic Trifecta, re-electing progressive champion Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Tim Walz, the state has continued ramping up a new generation of progressive leadership. With the support of MVP’s grassroots partners, we now have a core group of legislators ready to make bold changes and uphold their commitments to the communities that elected them.
Dozens of high priority bills are moving quickly through the legislature, providing a chance to break ten years of gridlock. Some of the bills already introduced include: a model voting rights expansion bill; marijuana legalization and expungement of past convictions; Paid Family and Medical Leave; Driver’s Licenses for all; full funding for public schools; childcare subsidies for working families; banning conversion therapy; and much more.
To continue building on these recent wins, MVP Partners are operating paid canvassing campaigns in targeted districts throughout the session to move any Democratic Senators who might attempt to block progressive legislation.
During a recent legislative briefing, our partners at Faith in Minnesota reported that coordination between the Governor’s Office and the two legislative bodies is as close as they’ve ever seen it. This is especially important because with a one seat majority in the Senate, a single Senator could block any piece of legislation.
Fortunately, the MN Democratic House passed a slew of powerful bills in 2020-2021. Last year, those bills died in the Republican-controlled Senate; this session they are ready to go. Minnesota also has a $17 billion surplus in part because Republicans refused to spend it last year. Trifecta power means this money can now be invested in progressive priorities like education, childcare and paid family leave as outlined in the Governor Walz’ budget.
Over the past four years, MVP and the donors who believe in this work have invested deeply to help Minnesota get to this point. Now we need to actually deliver for Minnesota communities. We need to make sure our partners in Minnesota have the resources to be at the table, to get their people to the legislature, and to be heard.
To give immediately, you can donate online to support MVP’s priorities. You can also contact your MVP liaison or [email protected] to move larger gifts, make custom donations, or get more information on giving options, wire transfer info, or gifts of appreciated stock.
This post was co-written by former MVP Minnesota State Advisor, Laura Flynn.