ANNIVERSARY

ANNIVERSARY: Gov. Tim Walz and his wife Gwen, celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary over the weekend.

With negotiations still continuing for a possible special session of the Minnesota Legislature, Gov. Tim Walz made a few appointments and signed an omnibus mental health budget bill into law.

On May 31, Walz and lieutenant governor, Peggy Flanagan, announced appointments to the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, the Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Board of Veterinary Medicine, the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board, the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, the Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, the Governor’s Council on an Age-Friendly Minnesota, the Board of Barber Examiners and the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband — including Derrick Crim of Brooklyn Park for the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, Corey Harland of New Brighton for the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, Landyn Prescott-Miles of Royalton for the Board of Behavioral Health and Therapy, Naomi Schmid of Fergus Falls for the Board of Podiatric Medicine, Steven Shadwick of Stillwater for the Board of Veterinary Medicine, Raye Taylor of Goodland for the Board of Veterinary Medicine, LeRoy Staples-Fairbanks III of Cass Lake for the Minnesota State High School League Board of Directors, Bernie Burnham of St. Paul, Lance Louis of Cold Spring, Scott Parker of Mazeppa for the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board, Samuel Heimlich of Minneapolis for the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, Hanna Valento of Forest Lake for the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, Bernie Burnham of St. Paul for the Governor’s Workforce Development Board, Rebecca Thomas of Ramsey for the Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, Dave McAuliffe of North Branch for the Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind and Hard of Hearing, Sandra Vargas of Golden Valley for the Governor’s Council on an Age-Friendly Minnesota, Josh Kirkpatrick of Waconia for the Board of Barber Examiners, Phil Stalboerger of Eagan for the Governor’s Task Force on Broadband.

On Jun. 1, Walz announced appointments to the Culturally Informed and Culturally Responsive Mental Health Task Force and the Commission on Judicial Selection. The appointments for the included Culturally Informed and Culturally Responsive Mental Health Task Force included Sue Abderholden of St. Paul, Eric Abu of Brooklyn Center, Alex Espadas of Winona, Martera Nelson of Red Lake, Talee Vang of Minneapolis, Jessica Gourneau of Maplewood, Hoinu Bunce of Savage. For the Commission on Judicial Selection, the lone appointee was Nathaniel Stumme of Duluth.

Also on Jun. 1, Walz announced the appointment of Greta Smolnisky as District Court Judge in Minnesota’s Seventh Judicial District. Smolnisky will be replacing the Honorable Jay D. Carlson and will be chambered in Moorhead in Clay County.

On Jun. 2, Walz announced Minnesotans can place a second order for four free at-home rapid tests through the state’s online ordering program. Minnesotans who have previously ordered tests from this program are now able to receive four additional tests per household (for up to a total of eight tests). The tests can be ordered from mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/at-home/index.jsp

Also on Jun. 2, Walz met with Finland’s Consul General and Ambassador Mika Koskinen to discuss business and economic opportunities between Minnesota and Finland. The meeting was a follow up to the Walz’s trade mission to Helsinki in November 2021.

Additionally on Jun. 2, Governor Walz signed the omnibus mental health budget bill into law, investing $60 million in the state’s mental health system which will increase hospital bed capacity, attract new mental health care professionals, and expand the use of mobile crisis units.

As heavy rains continue to worsen flooding throughout the Rainy River Basin in Northern Minnesota, Walz on Jun. 3, extended National Guard support for the region.

Additionally on Jun. 3, Walz signed a bill that will fund 80 environment and natural resources projects with the goal of protecting Minnesota’s air, water, land, fish, wildlife and other outdoor resources. Walz then wrote to legislators urging them to work toward reforming the vetting process for future projects to prioritize citizens’ voices and remove politics from the process.

Prior to the conclusion of the legislative session, Walz signed 10 bipartisan bills into law, including a bill that codifies a subcabinet and advisory council to combat the opioid and addiction epidemic in Minnesota. The measure is part of the Health and Human Services Omnibus policy bill. Walz also ceremonially signed the comprehensive veterans omnibus bill and National Guard retention bonus bill. This law will move the state towards ending and preventing veteran homelessness, expand service bonuses to post-9/11 era veterans and Gold Star families, and fund veterans homes and veterans cemeteries.



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