The Legislature is back in session today following last week’s Easter / Passover break. The focus over the next two weeks will be on finance committees passing spending bills; the deadline for these committees to act is at the end of next week.
Constituent Luncheon - Monday, April 16
Thanks to those who attended the Chat with Dave on Saturday. A reminder that the annual constituent luncheon with Sen. Cohen and Rep. Murphy is coming up on the afternoon of Monday, April 16 at the Capitol (see my most recent newsletter for details). Note that the deadline to order a box lunch is TODAY. Space is limited, and an RSVP is required to Senator Cohen’s office at 651-296-5931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Medicaid Work Requirements
Just before the legislative break, the House Health & Human Services Finance Committee (on which I serve) passed a Republican proposal to impose work requirements on many of those receiving health coverage through Medicaid, which is called Medical Assistance (MA) in Minnesota. Recipients of MA are already the very poorest Minnesotans. As testifier after testifier pointed out, the proposed requirements would be expensive, cumbersome, and cruel. I will continue to push hard against them.
Looking for Action Against Harassment at the Capitol
Months after endemic sexual harassment at the Capitol became widely publicized, little meaningful action has been taken. Just before the break and a key committee deadline, my House colleagues and I pushed for a vote on a bill that would establish a bipartisan task force with outside experts to help the House and Senate develop new procedures for reporting and addressing claims. The bill was voted down by the Republican House majority. Again, we’ll keep pushing on this.
Speaking Up for Infrastructure
In a recent op-ed, I joined one legislative leader from Michigan and another from Maine in calling for greater national investment in infrastructure. The most important form of this investment in Minnesota is via the “bonding bill,” which allows state government to borrow to maintain and improve public infrastructure throughout the state. In my prior sessions, the Republican majority has revealed its proposal only in the last days (sometimes the last minutes) of the session. This of course undermines transparency and good decision-making. Governor Dayton has already released his proposal. It is time for the Republican majority to release its proposal.
Continuing Support for Early Childhood
Early-childhood policies continue to be my top legislative priority. Last week I joined my colleague Rep. Rena Moran in thanking Governor Dayton for fighting to continue investments in pre-K programs targeted at the districts whose students are facing the most adversity. Unless the Legislature continues this investment, the St. Paul Public Schools stand to lose almost $1.7 million in this critical funding.
I had a blast getting to read to enthusiastic youngsters in the Capitol rotunda during Advocacy for Children Day. We got in some counting practice too!
Finally, please note the next Prenatal to Three Policy Forum - the quarterly series that I founded for advocates, policymakers, and community members - is this Monday, April 16, in the morning before the constituent luncheon. Please click here for more information.
Chatting with the owners of Ageligl Restaurant, which offers Ethiopian cuisine on the site of the former Tropicana Cafe on West Seventh heading to the airport.
A reminder that I am posting regularly (as much as I can) at my Facebook page; please subscribe for the latest updates. Thank you for the honor of serving our community,
State Representative, District 64B
321 State Office Building
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