May 22, 2023
Minnesota’s Infrastructure Union: Thank You for the Most Pro-Job, Pro-Working Family Legislative Session in Minnesota History
Saint Paul, MN – As the 2023 Legislative Session comes to an end today, Joel Smith, President and Business Manager of LIUNA Minnesota and North Dakota released the following statement.
“The 2023 Legislative Session delivered truly historic wins for working people and put Minnesota on track to create family- and community-supporting jobs in every corner of the state. This Legislature is helping make Minnesota the best state in the country for working people, including construction workers and their families.
“We are grateful for the leadership and support of Speaker Melissa Hortman, Majority Leader Jamie Long, Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan, and all of the legislators and staff who helped put LIUNA's 2023 Legislative Priorities across the finish line. On behalf of the 29,000 members and family members of Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) Minnesota and North Dakota, I thank you.
“The passage of a record $2.3 billion construction jobs bill on the heels of landmark investments in the state’s roads, bridges transit, and water infrastructure, caps off what is without question the most productive legislative session in Minnesota history.
“We are grateful to Capital Investment Committee Chairs Sandy Pappas and Fue Lee, Representative Dean Urdahl and Senator Karin Housley, committee members and all of the DFL and Republican legislators who put their communities and constituents first and voted for the bipartisan local jobs and projects bills.
Together, we accomplished:
- Creating more than $3.7 billion in new, long-term and dedicated funding over the next two bienniums to make our roads, bridges and transit safer, more reliable and connected
- Investing $2.6 billion in local jobs and infrastructure projects in every corner of the state
- Making landmark investments in wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure, including more than $240 million to begin replacing lead pipes across Minnesota
- Fully-funding state matches to maximize federal transportation, water, energy and broadband infrastructure investments
- Putting Minnesota on an affordable, reliable path to 100% clean energy with a climate bill that prioritizes good jobs
- Protecting refinery workers and communities by requiring contractors at oil refineries to employ a safe and skilled workforce trained through Registered Apprenticeship programs
- Expanding prevailing wage requirements and enforcement for construction workers on state-funded, economic development and construction projects
- Preventing wage theft through disclosure requirements, stronger remedies and enforcement for construction workers
- Supporting diversity and inclusion in the construction industry and workforce training through expanded training and career opportunities for women, veterans, and people of color through Registered Apprenticeship programs and Building Strong Communities
- Expanding all workers’ freedoms to join unions and negotiate for better pay and benefits
- Expanding voting rights, including automatic voter registration, restoration of voting rights, vote by mail and early voting
- Making sure our undocumented neighbors can apply for driver's licenses, complete a vision screening, a skills test, and purchase insurance. Driver’s Licenses for All will strengthen local economies by eliminating barriers to education, healthcare and employment, and empower more Minnesotans to contribute to local taxes and spending
- Creating a statewide paid family and medical leave program that allows construction workers and all working Minnesotans to take time off to bond with a new baby or care for their families or themselves without having to choose between their paycheck or their health and well-being