Rep. Nelson Reflects on 22 Years in MN House
Last week, state Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park) announced that he plans to retire and not seek re-election. He sat down with CCX News on Tuesday to reflect on his 11 terms.
“Got a lot of things accomplished,” Nelson said. “When I first ran, I didn’t think I was going to be here that long. Like I said: It was 11 terms, 22 years. It’s time to move on with my life, actually retire and see what that is like.”
Nelson grew up in the Brooklyns and went to Park Center High School.
He is a carpenter by trade, and spent much of his career advocating for labor unions and, in his words, helping people support their families.
“We passed legislation to allow home health care workers and home daycare workers, it was a two-part legislation, to form a union and negotiate and get better wages,” Nelson said. “The home health care workers did that. They used the legislation and formed a union and have actually improved the wages of those who take care of the sick and the elderly that are in their homes.”
Nelson also said he spent a lot of time focusing on wage theft.
“There’s two parts of that: One is just actually not paying people what you say you’re going to pay them and cheating them on their hours. Another thing is misclassifying workers,” Nelson said. “Cheating people out of what they should be owed, but they’re working. So that’s something I’ve worked on.”
He hopes future members of the House continue to look out for Minnesota.
“The last biennium we had a historic surplus,” Nelson said. “We spent that wisely, and still left money on the bottom line.”
Nelson will step down from his position after the legislative biennium wraps up in May.