I’m going to touch the third rail and discuss politics. Brace yourselves. I think it’s like ignoring the elephant in the room to not talk about this when discussing why people move to, or away from, MN so I’m going to give you an overview of recent laws and public policy moves here that will attract some people to the state and undoubtedly repel others.
What made me decide to write this:
I recently saw TWO reddit threads – one for Minneapolis and one for Minnesota and BOTH were posts asking about moving to Minnesota or the Twin Cities because of the political climate where the people that posted live at the moment (in this case Tennessee and Arkansas) making them feel unsafe or not accepted.
This struck a chord with me because I regularly help people move to Minnesota from the south (nearly everything is south of Minnesota) and I know that people move for all sorts of reasons – jobs (we have a GREAT economy here), the environment (we are on the globe so we do have our share of problems associated with Global warming, but they generally don’t include water shortages or wild fires).
***If YOU want to move to MN, I have a free relocation guide that you can download HERE. I encourage you to reach out with questions or check out my YouTube channel where I do videos of different areas etc. ***
Also (this will shock some of you!) but many people enjoy winter and snow sports and a lot of people love having 4 distinct seasons even though spring lasts about 2 weeks and also like a very outdoorsy lifestyle. We also enjoy having working power grids in all sorts of weather (sorry Texas, and apparently California as some have said in response to my video).
I had to laugh because a lot of people were quite enraged at this idea – stating that the fastest growing states are Texas and Florida. Guess what? BOTH THINGS CAN BE TRUE AT THE SAME TIME. People move here and people also move away from here.
The news is filled with one story after another about other states regulating things that we have taken for granted and pouring fuel on the fire of social issues. Some states have taken actions in one direction and MN has decidedly gone on the opposite path for many of these issues.
Is every Minnesotan a Democrat?
MN has a reputation as a progressive state, and MN typically goes for the Democrat in the presidential election, but we often have Republican governors OR one of our state houses controlled by the Republican party, so the idea that EVERYONE here is a liberal is very much incorrect. However, our Governor now has a one member majority in the MN Senate now and that means that a lot of DFL (Democrat / Farmer / Labor) party priorities are getting codified. Minnesota also has a reputation as a very homogenous state compared to others however, the new crop of lawmakers brought a series of firsts at the Capitol: including the first time both chambers are set to be led by women, the first person of color elected president of the Senate, the largest group of people of color to serve in the Legislature (35 of 201), 11 lawmakers who identify as LGBTQ and a record number of female lawmakers.
Women’s Health Policies
With the Supreme Court overturning Roe V Wade, MN has taken an extra step in reaffirming their commitment to protecting women’s healthcare choices. The right to abortion has been reviewed by the MN State Supreme Court and found to be constitutional, in addition to this the PRO Act was passed in early 2023 to make sure that the right to reproductive health care is protected. The bill goes a step further than current law in protecting access to birth control, sterilization and family planning help. It would prohibit local governments from imposing additional restrictions on reproductive health care.
In addition, The Minnesota House recently passed a bill that would shield women who travel to the state for abortions, as well as their nurses and doctors. It still needs approval from the state Senate and the signature of Gov. Tim Walz to become law. The bill prohibits Minnesota judges from issuing warrants and law enforcement from making arrests of people charged with crimes in other state’s for accessing reproductive health care in Minnesota. The governor may not extradite a person charged with a crime involving reproductive health care, either.
Same sex marriage is codified into law not just at the federal level, but also at the state level here in MN. In addition, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order protecting the rights of LGBTQ people from Minnesota and other states to receive gender affirming health care, as he slammed the tide of other states rolling back transgender rights.
“We want every Minnesotan to grow up feeling safe, valued, protected, celebrated, and free to exist as their authentic versions of themselves,” Walz said. “Protecting and supporting access to gender affirming health care is essential to being a welcoming and supportive state.” A separate bill banning so-called conversion therapy for LGBTQ children and vulnerable adults won approval in the Minnesota House last month and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate and the MN house just passed a “Trans Refuge” bill which will move on to the Senate and the Governor. “The law would make it so that people who live in states who have banned or restricted gender-affirming care can come to Minnesota to access that care and be protected from the laws that govern their home states,” bill sponsor Finke said.
Education / budget surplus
Minnesota has a budget surplus of $17.8 BILLION dollars. The governor put forward their budget months ahead of schedule and details still need to be refined, but his budget proposal would fund increases to schools, housing initiatives and tax relief.
They propose $3 billion more toward pre-K through 12 public schools and college aid, as well as another $1 billion for housing initiatives.
They have earmarked $3 billion for tax cuts that they said could include direct rebate checks, tax credits, property tax relief and increases to local government aid. The targets also include nearly $670 million to launch a paid family and medical leave program, which would be fueled by a new payroll tax once it is off the ground.
Within the last week the governor signed a law guaranteeing Free breakfast & lunch for all children in the state of MN in pk-12.
Minnesota Democrats successfully passed a bill for a carbon-free electric grid by 2040, directing a speedy energy transition in at least one sector of the state’s economy.
THC Gummies are currently legal and we are seeing THC laced beers and seltzers as well.
There is a proposed legalized recreational marijuana, supported by the governor who also references millions of dollars in tax revenues from the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Medical marijuana is currently legal in Minnesota.
The Crown Act was passed and signed into law and provides further racial protections under the MN Human Rights Act by prohibiting discrimination based on natural hair or braids.
Minnesota is a welcoming state. Not everyone has the same opinions on every issue, not everyone agrees with the policies that the governor and the legislature are working on now, but Minnesota does seek to distinguish itself from its neighbors. We are surrounded by states with the opposite philosophy about the role of government in people’s lives, and there needs to be room for everyone. If you’re thinking about making a move, let me know how I can help. I have helped a lot of people relocate from out of state, I am certain that some would be willing to have a conversation about their personal experiences with moving here.