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Environment

 

In Minnesota, the land of lakes, protecting our water and air needs to be a top priority. I’m committed to conserving and restoring our environmental resources for future generations. I bring a background in natural resources and experience working with our environmental agencies to ensure we maintain our cherished natural resources for all Minnesotans.


In the Minnesota House, I chair the House Climate Action Caucus, and serve as vice chair on the Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee, and I am a member of the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee and the  Legacy Committee.

I am proud of the Climate Action Plan we created in 2020. Take a look.


Signed into law

I authored and introduced these bills that are now state law. 

  • Investing in solar on schools (HF 1427) provides $16 million to help districts install solar energy systems on school buildings. This will reduce electricity costs, which are often schools’ second-largest expense, and will create educational opportunities for students.  


  • Investing in climate research (HF 2420) funds a University of Minnesota study that will produce weather-model projections for the entire state. The projections will help us understand and plan for impacts of climate change.  


  • Supporting regional parks and trails (HF 1874) delivers funding to maintain parks, trails, and recreation areas in the metropolitan area.


  • Building energy efficiency (HF 1256) creates a framework for a nonprofit organization dedicated to energy efficiency to work with businesses and utilities to prepare for and accelerate the adoption of emerging technologies. This law will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.  


  • Appropriating money for native bee surveys (HF 1092) will continue to assess the status and distribution of native bee pollinators by expanding surveys into coniferous-deciduous forest regions and facilitating interagency collaboration and public outreach on pollinators.

Bills introduced

 

  • To protect our lakes and waterways by requiring an aquatic invasive species management plan, updated every five years and including impacts of a changing climate

  • To protect our drinking water by completing an aquifer database that can be used by all jurisdictions, and enacting a measure to test private well water through local clinics across the state

  • To encourage sustainable building practices by requiring state-owned buildings to meet 2030 standards

  • To reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring the state to develop a plan to meet our reduction goals

  • To encourage investments that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by establishing an individual tax credit for applicable projects

  • To better understand our changing climate and weather resilience by establishing a University of Minnesota Extension program to work with land managers across our state

  • To further make use of sustainable energy resources by expanding participation in the popular Solar on Schools program

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Health care

 

Access to quality and affordable health care should be a right for all Minnesotans. As a breast cancer survivor, I understand and appreciate the need for comprehensive, quality health care. All Minnesotans should have access to the timely care, regardless of preexisting conditions. We can reduce health care costs with a variety of strategies moving forward, but the high quality of health care that Minnesotans expect to receive should not rely on income or insurance status. 
 

Signed into law

  • Strengthening home-based health care (HF 446) increases rates for home health agency services and home care nursing services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy and more. 

  • Allowing parents and spouses to be compensated for PCA work (HF 1159) makes it possible for a person’s parent or spouse can be reimbursed for providing personal care assistance services during public health crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, and reduces the number of hours required to qualify for an enhanced reimbursement rate. These changes will help keep vulnerable Minnesotans safe and better support those who care for them.  

  • Improving access to direct care (HF 976) directs the Department of Human Services to develop new Medical Assistance policies so Minnesotans can receive direct care services in acute care hospitals.  

  • Protecting medications during shipping (HF 1158) establishes a study to find ways to make sure sensitive medications aren’t exposed to high or low temperatures that impact their efficacy while they’re in the mail.   

  • Increasing access to injectable medications (HF 448) modifies the definition of “prescription drug” under current law to include injectable medications, so cost savings programs and certain discounts can be offered.

Bills introduced

  • To ensure no out-of-pocket costs for complete breast cancer screenings

  • To protect lives by requiring no-cost diagnostic services and testing following a mammogram

  • To help make prescription drugs more affordable for the long-term by holding drug manufacturers accountable for inflating the cost of insulin and other medications

  • To reduce the harms of substance use disorder by providing resources to mitigate the opioid crisis

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Patty & family at son's 2018 high school graduation

K-12 education

All children deserve a quality K-12 education to help them graduate ready to succeed in the next stage of life. I support strong public schools, in the interest of every child in Minnesota. 
 
Both of my sons attended local public schools. I want everyone who grows up in our state to have the same opportunity for a high quality education they had. I’ll work to close the achievement gap, fully fund special education programs, and place mental health resources in schools to support our students. ​

 

Signed into law

 

  • Increasing the general education funding formula by 2% for each of the next two years.

  • Freezing the special education cross-subsidy by $90.7 million this biennium, combining resources between  districts that are underfunded and those that have a surplus.

  • Including mental health training in teacher license renewal requirements 

  • Providing adequate funding to the tribal contract schools and ensuring future  increases in the Basic Formula so that these schools will remain at the state average per-pupil level moving forward​

  • Investing in Solar on Schools (HF 1427) provides $16 million to help school districts install solar energy systems on their buildings. This will create opportunities to teach students about renewable energy and climate change, and reduce electricity costs, often schools’ second largest expense.

Bills introduced

  • To increase students' grasp of mathematics by expanding the proven Math Corps program in our public schools

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Racial equity

 

Systemic racism has devastated too many people’s lives for too long in our nation. We must work to achieve equity in our communities, and end practices that discriminate against our neighbors on the basis of race. I will work to support and protect people of all races and ethnicities to create a more welcoming and safe environment. We must find solutions to ensure that people can feel safe and welcome in every Minnesota community. 

 

At the State Capitol, I introduced a bill to fund Black Men Teach Twin Cities, in order to establish partnerships with eight school district elementary schools or elementary charter schools with a goal of increasing the number of black male teachers to 20 percent of the employees at each school site. In addition, I supported and advocated for equal rights and protections for all Minnesotans by working on police accountability and criminal justice reforms, and I supported a statewide resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.

Reproductive rights

All women deserve the right to make decisions for their own bodies.

The recent decision by the United States Supreme Courts makes it more vital than ever to support candidates who support women's right to choice.

That includes easy and affordable access to regular reproductive health care services such as STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, birth control, abortion, and comprehensive sex education. 

 

At the State Capitol, I oppose legislation that would limit reproductive rights.

Public safety and violence prevention

 

All Minnesotans deserve to live in a safe, comfortable environment. Rising crime is forefront in many people's minds, and I am working with my colleagues in the Minnesota House to expeditiously deliver resources to help local officials, police chiefs, prosecutors, and community organizations working on the ground team up to address violence occurring across Minnesota.

I support measures to increase public safety by supplementing police departments with needed mental health, social services and other resources. 

 

The U.S. House and Senate recently passed bipartisan gun violence prevention legislation for the first time in decades. That's a step in the right direction. However, there’s so much more we need to do to keep our communities safe, I support criminal background checks, extreme risk protection orders, safe storage laws and requiring notification of stolen weapons.

Patty acomb for State Representative