Dear Neighbors,

Thank you for the high level of engagement during our virtual town hall last weekend. Your strong advocacy helps shape our priorities at the legislature. 

Black History Month commemorates the progress that has been made and allows us to recommit ourselves to continue the fight for economic, social, and racial justice. Our office has been working in close partnership with community advocates, Governor Walz, Lieutenant Gov. Peggy Flanagan, the Senate DFL, and members of the POCI Caucus to identify top priorities for this session. The issues outlined in this newsletter reflect some outcomes of these conversations.

Like in previous years, Senate committee chairs are blocking progress and denying the public the opportunity to hear committee members’ positions on actual issues. If committee members don’t have to vote on a bill, their constituents will never know where their representatives stand on the issue. Minnesotan’s deserve better representation!

I ask for your patience and diligence when communicating with our office. We are receiving a high volume of communication and it will not be easy to reply back to you as fast and as personally as it has been the tradition of our office. 

Thank you for supporting our work and bringing your priorities to our attention. 




Priorities supported by Sen. Torres Ray:

H.F. 9: Election Security
H.F. 1500: Drivers Licenses For All
S.F. 547: Women of Color Opportunity Act
S.F. 218: Ranked Choice Voting
S.F. 323: ERA: Gender equality provided under law
H.F 21: Emergency Shelters Funding
S.F. 333: State Rent Assistance Program for Low-Income Renters
S.F 298: Repealing prohibition on local ordinances governing plastic bags
S.F. 446: Increase Teachers of Color and American Indian Teachers Act
H.F.640: Creating a Board for Special Investigations and Prosecutions
S.F. 59: Prove It First Legislation

Environmental Legislation Priorities:
I am committed to leverage my influence as the Lead on the Environmental and Natural Resources Finance Committee to protect human health and the environment through transparent and efficient policies. 

  • Continuing to speak out on my opposition to Line 3.
  • Supporting the PUC Reform Bill brought forward by a group of constituents working on this crucial legislation.
  • Improving risk assessment and maintenance of closed landfills to prevent the waste from leaking into groundwater.
  • Preparing Minnesota communities for our changing climate and helping local governments assess vulnerabilities and develop plans to enhance stormwater infrastructure.
  • Expanding Minnesota’s electric-vehicle charging network to encourage electric-vehicle purchases and lower GHG emissions.

Conversations Sen. Torres Ray has been part of: 

  • MN350 constituents advocating for environment and climate justice initiatives

  • Clean Cars Rulemaking briefing with Sierra Club and Fresh Energy.

  • Governor’s Office and MDE Deputy Commissioner Heather Mueller walk through the Governor’s Due North Education Plan with members of the POCI Caucus.

  • Meeting with Environment and Natural Resources Agencies on Governor’s Budget.

  • The Nature Conservancy appropriations in the Outdoor Heritage Fund Bill.

  • Fire Service Day constituent meeting with the Minneapolis and Richfield Fire Chiefs.

  • Fair Vote MN regarding Ranked Choice Voting.

  • Xcel Energy Legislative Briefing in the energy policy area about their carbon reduction plan, including renewables, nuclear energy, conservation and electric vehicles, as well as universal service and equitable access to utility programs.

  • Land Stewardship Project legislative priorities focusing on building soil health, advancing rural economic justice, and funding our communities.

  • The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Virtual Legislative Priorities.

  • Executive Council for Young Women’s Initiative + Young Women’s Cabinet Launch.

  • Minneapolis Legislative Delegation Meeting, City of Minneapolis Legislative Priorities.

  • State’s Homelessness Response Webinar.

  • Meeting with Governor Staff and State Patrol Colonel Langer regarding the Governor’s request to create a SAFE account to provide cost-share for public safety, at the request of Minneapolis and St Paul Mayors. No criteria for public reporting, definition of extraordinary events, length of time and criteria for eligibility are defined in the proposal.

  • Meeting with constituents regarding Naturopathic Medicine in Minnesota during their virtual day on the hill.

  • Facilitated a Latinas Leadership Academy Training with NHCSL on the challenges of negotiating multiple, sometimes competing, interests and navigating various networks and stakeholders to achieve consensus and successful outcomes.

  • Minnesota Can’t Afford More Fossil Gas Plants overview of the climate, economic, health and safety risks of fossil gas, Xcel Energy & Minnesota Power’s proposed gas plants and pipelines, and ongoing efforts to stop these and any other proposed plants in Minnesota.
         Sponsors: Fresh Energy, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, MN350, Sierra Club
  • Attended a large winter market food distribution at the Corcoran Community Center. The Sanneh Foundation stepped into this operation at the request of Second Harvest Heartland and the Food Group to provide and distribute groceries to those who need them most. 

  • MN-Mississippi River Parkway Commission (MRPC) Work Group on Improving Access and Welcoming Environment to engage diverse populations of all ages, locally and afar to experience the Mississippi River.

  • Call to make repairs to the South 31st Avenue Bridge serving the Hiawatha Avenue Mill & Industrial District. The piers supporting the bridge and other steel structural components have been severely affected by corrosion resulting from the city and use of road salt as a deicer on the street below for many years.

  • EYEWITNESS: Minnesota Voices on Climate Change for legislators and the public to hear powerful testimonials that speak to a range of impacts, solutions and the intersectionality of climate change.