Liz Olson represents District 7B in the Minnesota House.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
As I near the conclusion of my first legislative session as a state representative, I’ve begun reflecting on what it’s like to help lead Minnesota in this particular political moment from a legislative minority. As a freshman legislator, I came in with a new class of leaders, specifically in the House DFL caucus, that have changed the conversation in Minnesota as we speak our truth to power.
I love Minnesota. I love Duluth. I love when we come together in places and in spaces across geography, across race, across gender, and across all that divides us, places where we really show what we are as a state.
Even as a first-term state legislator, I've had my fair share of contributions to the budget process. I think about how to reinvest our $1.65 billion surplus back into our communities to give Minnesota families the chance to thrive in these uncertain times. And yet ... In every committee meeting, floor session and press conference, I am constantly struck by how little attention is given to the proverbial elephant in the room: President Trump's health care proposal will leave a gaping hole in our budget for years to come.
When I ran for the Minnesota House of Representatives, I committed myself to a simple pledge. Spend my time as a legislator working to ensure everyone can feel safe, be heard and live in joy. And ever since being sworn in last month, I've been working to do just that. But when I listened to Duluthians at my town hall over the weekend talk about struggling to pay for health insurance, I realized that in order to honor that pledge I needed to push even harder for one specific policy: the MinnesotaCare Buy-In.
I am now concluding my first month representing the Duluth residents who elected me to the District 7B seat in November. As a freshman legislator, the learning curve is steep! The first weeks of each session are packed with informational hearings. Legislators are given detailed briefings on the background and function of many state government agencies and programs. There are constantly new things to learn. I am more confident than ever that if we work together, we can help the state take positive steps in the right direction for Duluth.