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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Pinto (DFL)

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Legislative Update - January 27, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dear Neighbors:

The first full week of the Trump administration has received much attention, and we're already seeing the cost here in Minnesota, in terms of the environment and more. On Wednesday, my colleagues & I committed to protect immigrants in our state. There has been much concerning activity at the legislative level as well – see below. But first, an opportunity for us to connect..

‘Chat with Dave’

I will be holding another 'Chat with Dave' Saturday, February 4th. Stop by for informal conversations about the session and legislative priorities for you and your family.

When: 10:00 -11:00 am Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Where: Edgecumbe Recreation Center, 320 Griggs St S, Saint Paul, MN 55105

Health-Insurance Premium Relief

On Thursday, the House and Senate finally passed premium relief for those on the individual market, in the form of a 25% discount passed through insurers. In passing the bill, the Republican majorities insisted on adding a series of ideologically-driven changes to the insurance market, including for the first time in the modern era opening it to for-profit companies. Among other concerns, these major changes have had little scrutiny and input from stakeholders and the public - input which could have come over the course of the rest of this session. They were not needed for immediate relief, which should not have been held hostage to them. I'm glad that so many Minnesotans will finally receive premium relief, but I joined my DFL colleagues with deep expertise in health policy in voting against the final bill.

Punishing Dissent

I've heard from many constituents about a bill (HF 322) which would allow communities to sue protesters. The bill passed the Civil Law Committee on a party-line vote and is on its way to the House Public Safety Committee, where I serve. In its targeting of speech, I consider this bill un-American and very likely unconstitutional. It is part of a series of measures that appears intended to intimidate free expression and divide our community. I will fight it hard.

Governor Dayton’s State of the State and Budget: An Opportunity Agenda

Monday night, Governor Dayton delivered his seventh State of the State to a joint legislative session of the House and Senate. Although his speech was cut short, he did outline a broad vision for improving the lives of all Minnesotans; much was related to education and sustainable budgeting for long term solutions.

Tuesday, the Governor released his budget, where he expanded on State of the State themes – focusing on investing in all levels of education. He proposed voluntary pre-kindergarten for all of Minnesota’s children, a 2% increase in education funding this year and the next, and to plan to hold down college debt so we keep our graduates among the best in the nation in workforce readiness.

He also proposed a public option to increase competition and drive down health insurance costs. He called for everyone to join together in the shared goal of cleaning up our precious lakes and streams. Finally, he also asked that the legislature work with him to finally come to a long-term solution to the $6 billion funding shortfall we have in our transportation budget over the next 10 years.

Governor Dayton’s vision is one of continued positive growth for all Minnesotan. I continue to wish him good health and look forward to working with him so everyone in our community has the opportunity to get ahead.

A Final Thought on the Women's March MN

I was proud to be one of 100,000 in Minnesota - nearly 4 million worldwide (!) - in marching for women's rights and human rights last Saturday. I can't resist closing with a favorite sign I saw that day. We are one state and one country. We'll keep fighting together for policies that uphold that value. #EverybodyIn.

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Thank you for the honor of serving our community,

Dave Pinto
State Representative, District 64B
321 State Office Building

(651) 296-4199