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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Marion Rarick (R)

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Legislative Update

Monday, March 11, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

Here is the latest news from Saint Paul.

DFL Gun Control Bills

In the Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division hearing last Wednesday, we heard incredible testimony from Minneapolis Reverend Tim Christopher on why these two gun control bills won’t help end the violence in his community. I had a chance to speak on these bills and express my concern with the bill as well as some of the changes they’ve made to them in committee. I’ve linked the Reverend's speech, as well as my response and a few of my questions to the author of the “red flag” bill below.

Reverend Tim Christopher's testimony in committee
My response to the Reverend's testimony

Equal Rights Amendment

Last week, the House voted on HF 13, the Equal Rights Amendment. This bill would add a Constitutional Amendment to the ballot in 2020. The question on the ballot would be: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that equality under the law must not be abridged or denied on account of gender?” Unfortunately, due to serious concerns about using the constitutional amendment as a tool to advance abortion and because it uses the word gender instead of sex, I had to vote no. In other states, this same type of amendment has been used to eliminate bans on taxpayer funded abortion. I offered an amendment that would have said that this bill, if passed, would not have any effect on the availability or funding of abortions. That amendment was voted down. As I said during the debate, I wish I could have voted yes, but I cannot support any bill that would eventually be used for abortion. I also offered an amendment that would define gender as male or female as stated on one's birth certificate. All through committee debate, the minority asked the author to define what she meant by gender as it is not defined in our current statutes, but she did not offer additional language. She stated on the House Floor that she wanted the definition of gender to be a broad as possible. It was noted during debate that gender could have over one hundred different descriptions such as Agender, Androgyne, Bigender, Cis, Female to Male, Gender Fluid, Gender Nonconforming, Gender Questioning, Gender Variant, Intersex, Neither, Non-binary, Other, Pangender, Trans, Trans Person, Two-Spirit. My amendment was not adopted.

There’s a link to my speech below.

My final thoughts on the ERA bill

Teacher Licensure

Last session, House Republicans led the charge for a historic overhaul of the state’s teacher licensure program, streamlining it and starting to help with Minnesota’s teacher shortage. However, House Democrats are backing a bill, HF 1329, that makes it harder for new teachers to get their license and cuts off opportunities for out-of-state teachers and teachers of color. This bill puts politics over the interests of students and aspiring teachers, and I oppose it.


Last week, the Health and Human Services Policy committee heard Governor Walz’s ONEcare proposal. This plan has some differences from the MinnesotaCare-for-all plan that Democrats have been supporting, but the main problems remain in the bill. It reimburses providers at lower rates, which will hurt hospitals all over the state, and would offer no help to Minnesotans struggling with high premiums. It would also cost $112 million just to get off the ground.

Gov. Walz’s 100% Clean Energy Bill

Tomorrow morning, HF 1956 (Gov. Walz’s Clean Energy First Act) will be heard in committee. This bill is a mandate that by 2050, 100 percent of the state’s electricity must be produced from “clean” sources, and specifically excludes nuclear power generation that currently exists in Minnesota. This mandate will drive up costs for electricity and will threaten the reliability of our energy grid – especially during extreme weather, like polar vortexes.


Today, the Senate passed their bill to extend the reinsurance program for three more years, but House Democrats voted against bringing the bill up for a vote on the House floor. This program has been extremely successful in lowering health insurance premiums on the individual market. If we let this program end, rates will skyrocket and the individual market will suffer. During the floor debate today, it was noted that the fiscal impact as reported by MMB would lead to a 54% increase in premiums in the private insurance market if reinsurance is not passed.


As always, if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government or have concerns or ideas about legislation, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 357 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.



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