The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

The student news site of Owatonna High School.

Magnet

2024 State of the State Address will be held at Owatonna High School

Part II: Minnesota Governor Tim Walz addresses pressing issues
Governor+Tim+Walz+will+give+his+State+of+the+State+Address+on+March+26+at+OHS.+
Designed by Norah Sletten
Governor Tim Walz will give his State of the State Address on March 26 at OHS.

Within the past few years, Minnesota has dealt with many important issues and has passed much essential legislation. MN Governor Tim Walz is in his second term, and has dedicated much of his time to protecting the inherent rights of all Minnesota citizens. Because the State of the State Address will be held at Owatonna High School, OHS Magnet was granted an opportunity to ask questions concerning OHS students and Minnesotans. During his upcoming State of the State Address on March 26, Gov. Walz will be digging deeper into what he sees in Minnesota’s future. 

Recently, the state of Minnesota has been divided on many serious issues. These issues include abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and gun control—all of which Gov. Walz has taken firm stances on. Based on legislation, he has been working to improve the safety of all Minnesota citizens since his election in 2019. 

In April of 2023, Gov. Walz signed three bills meant to protect the rights of Minnesota citizens. These bills ban conversion therapy, protect those seeking an abortion and those seeking gender-affirming care. While these bills caused some controversy, they were another step towards keeping minorities in Minnesota safe. 

In February, Alabama ruled that frozen embryos (IVF) have the same legal standings as human beings—furthering the point of 2024 being a key year for reproductive rights. After the overturning of Roe V. Wade in 2022, Gov. Walz took a firm stance in the fight for women’s healthcare. Minnesota confirmed its status as a safe haven for those seeking abortion when Gov. Walz signed the Reproductive Freedom Defense Act, which protects patients and providers of reproductive healthcare from legal attacks. 

Walz said, “I respect folks’ passion around this issue but it is a dangerous thing to have the government involved in.” He and his delegation plan to keep moving forward with their fight for reproductive rights. 

The results of the upcoming November election will be pivotal for the lives of LGBTQ+ Americans. In 2023 alone, 500 bills were put forward to restrict these rights. Gov. Walz has worked to protect LGBTQ+ rights in Minnesota, by banning conversion therapy and protecting those seeking gender-affirming care. Which has improved the safety of the community—especially in Minnesota schools. 

Walz said, “LGBTQ+ students have a higher rate of suicide and successes in it. They experience depression at a higher rate, simply because of who they are. It’s a very simple principle…there’s no reason we should be in your business on that.” According to a student survey administered by MN Department of Health, LGBTQ+ youth are over three times more likely to consider suicide and are five times more likely to attempt suicide.

These gun safety measures are meant to protect the lives of Minnesota children, as gun violence has become one of the leading causes of death in children under 18. Walz said, “I’m asking this year for two very simple things: if you have firearms in your home, make sure they’re stored with a trigger lock and make sure they’re stored safely—which every responsible gun owner already does—and that if your guns are stolen, you have to report them.” 

In 2023, Gov. Walz took a solid stance on gun control in Minnesota when he signed for enhancing gun safety measures into law. These measures include universal background checks and a red flag law, which lets law enforcement become involved when someone is in danger of hurting themselves or others with a firearm. 


Many controversial issues have already been discussed and fought over in Minnesota at the beginning of 2024. Gov. Walz plans to continue advancing the rights of Minnesota’s minorities while keeping his stance on pressing issues. These issues will be addressed during Gov. Walz’s speech on March 26, streaming on Minnesota House Live Webcast at 7 p.m.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Norah Sletten, Editor
Norah Sletten is a senior at OHS and this is her third year on OHS Magnet staff. Sletten joined Magnet because she has an interest in journalism. Alongside being a part of OHS Magnet, Sletten is involved in Owatonna Girls Cross Country, Rotary Club and Drama Club. Outside of school, she is a part of the Youth Oriented Leadership Organization (YOLO), a mental health and anti-tobacco advocacy group in Steele County. Sletten enjoys listening to music, hanging out with friends and working as a barista at Hyvee Starbucks. In her future, she hopes to attend Carleton College and major in Cinema and Media Studies.