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Sponsor says plenty to be proud of in omnibus commerce bill that clears committee

Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids) says Minnesotans should be very proud of the omnibus commerce finance bill approved Wednesday.

He listed several provisions in the bill justifying that happiness.

The sponsor of HF2680 said his favorite would allow a life insurance company to deny a death benefit only if the insured dies within one year of the issuance of the policy. Current law permits a two-year exclusion.

Other top provisions he cited would:

  • create a student loan advocate to help people understand the full ramifications of taking out education loans;
  • fight the high costs of prescription drugs;
  • establish a “Right to Repair” so manufacturers don’t have complete control over who fixes their products; and
  • ban social media providers from using algorithms that could expose children to harmful information.

The House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee adopted a delete-all amendment, as amended, then approved the bill on a 10-7 party-line vote and sent it to the House Ways and Means Committee.

[MORE: View the spreadsheet]

The proposed legislation got its first hearing Monday.

Republicans call the bill Democratic overreach, out of line with the issues most important to people in the state, and harmful to small businesses.

Rep. Tim O'Driscoll (R-Sartell) said the burdensome business regulations would stifle economic growth and lead people to flee the state. “I fear for Minnesota; I fear for small business; I fear for a lot of folks and their ability to be here in Minnesota.”

Five Republican amendments were offered; none were adopted.

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