This has been a busy week, with the first deadline for legislative committees to pass bills coming up tonight. Please keep in touch.
Update on Gun Violence - and Join Us Saturday
Since my bills for criminal background checks and extreme risk protection orders were heard and tabled several weeks ago, the bipartisan push to do more to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people has only grown stronger. Tuesday was the last day that the bills could be heard in the Public Safety Committee and still meet legislative deadlines. I took the opportunity to propose that the bills be taken off the table and finally given a chance to move forward, but both motions were declined, once again. You can watch the exchange here or by clicking on the image below. Following the hearing, the Star Tribune wrote a strong editorial in support of these common-sense bills moving forward. As more and more Minnesotans continue to get involved and contact their legislators, I hope we’ll see the change they, and a majority of Minnesotans, are asking for.
Reminder also about the March for Our Lives rally which is being organized by students for this Saturday at 11:00am at the Capitol. I will be speaking. Please join us!
Governor Dayton’s Supplemental Budget & State of the State
The current two-year state budget was set in 2017, but it is subject to adjustment and supplementation during this legislative session. Late last week, Governor Dayton released his supplemental budget plan. A particular highlight for me is the Governor’s continuing investments in early learning and development for the youngest Minnesotans. He also focuses on increasing tax fairness for individuals, expanding access to affordable health care, leaving a fair and balanced state budget, and improving incomes and economic opportunities for all Minnesotans.
A few days earlier, the Governor gave his final State of the State address. During the Governor’s eight years alone in office, we’ve gone from deficits to surpluses - from borrowing money from our schools to investing in record-breaking amounts - all of which has cemented Minnesota’s status as the best state in the country. When we invest in each other, our values, and our state as a whole, we all benefit.
Cell Phones & Driving
I’ve been contacted by many constituents with concerns about distracted driving. I’m pleased to let you know that several bills on this topic recently passed through the House Public Safety Committee, on which I serve, and seem likely to become law. HF 1180 would prohibit the handheld use of phones while driving (they could still be used in hands-free mode). HF 2932 would impose criminal penalties for negligent driving (while using a phone) and causing an injury or death.
Minnesota Youth Council
Calling young people in grades 8 to 12! Apply to join the Minnesota Youth Council in the 2018-19 year. The MYC promotes civic engagement by offering members a platform to engage in dialogue with lawmakers on youth issues. The deadline to apply is May 1.
Members from AFSCME joined me in my office this week to discuss the state employee contracts - which have yet to be ratified - and many other issues.
Thank you for the honor of serving our community,
State Representative, District 64B
321 State Office Building
Sign up for legislative updates: http://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/members/join.asp?id=15444