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

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Legislative Update- April 19, 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024
Rep. Pinto

Dear Neighbors,

I hope your spring is going well! Over the last two weeks, the House observed breaks for the Easter and Eid Al-Fitr holidays, with another break for Passover early next week. If you celebrate any of these holidays, I wish you joy at this time of year.

This is also a season of legislative deadlines, with a number of policy bills passing through the House (see below) and supplemental budget bills passing through committees. This was the last week for most committee hearings, and today is the final day for bills to be voted to the Ways & Means Committee or House floor.


Citywide Cleanup – TOMORROW

Tomorrow (Saturday) morning, in honor of Earth Day, St. Paul will come together for a citywide cleanup! Our district has meetup sites at Hidden Falls Regional Park (north gate), Highland Picnic Pavilion, and Twin Cities in Motion on Randolph. More details here.


Addressing Copper Wire Theft in St. Paul

Remember the epidemic of catalytic converter theft? Last year, the DFL legislature passed a law to take away the incentives, and it's been a big success. Now we are acting to address the theft of copper wire theft from streetlights. This is a major and growing problem in our city (I see it regularly in my work as a prosecutor) that is costly to public budgets and safety alike. Just as with catalytic converter theft, the bill that I’m coauthoring (HF 4461) will impose regulations that reduce the incentive to steal. Here’s a photo from a press conference on the bill.

Copper Wire Press Conference


Combatting Relationship Abuse and Sexual Assault

I played a particularly big role in two of the policy bills which recently passed the House. The public safety policy bill – which passed unanimously! – continues our comprehensive approach to public safety and crime prevention, with support for victim / survivors, criminal justice reform, policy modernization, and more. Drawing on my background as a prosecutor of gender violence, the bill also contains two provisions from bills of mine. One helps people seeking protective orders because of abuse or harassment, making it easier to have those orders actually take effect. The other provision closes a loophole relating to prosecutions of sexual assaults of people who are incapacitated or unconscious.

Public safety graphic


Transparency and Fairness in Purchasing

We’re likely all familiar with buying a ticket online to a sporting event or concert and then, just before purchase, discovering a series of surprise “service” or “convenience” fees. (This happened to me two weeks ago with tickets for a Minnesota United soccer game.) Similar fees – which can add up to be more than the original price! – are common in lots of transactions. Two bills which recently passed the House, with my support, would prohibit such “junk fees” ?and?require ticket price transparency, protect Minnesota consumers and provide for clarity and transparency in markets.

Ending Junk Fees


Other Policy Bills Advance

In addition to the bills above, here are just a few of the other policy bills that have recently passed the House, with my support:

  • The early learning policy bill, a product of the committee that I chair, focuses on strengthening pre-kindergarten and school readiness program, Head Start, and more.
  • The elections policy bill improves voter access and election transparency, including passage of the Minnesota Voting Rights Act.
  • The higher education policy bill expands support for students with a disability and for those seeking employment in the clean energy sector.
  • The transportation policy bill improves road safety, Driver Vehicle Services wait times, child passenger safety, and consumer protections.
  • HF 3071 (now on its way to the Governor for signing!) will require the use of plain language in driver’s license exams and driver’s manual.
  • The?labor policy bill?includes provisions to strengthen the minimum wage, ban shadow non-competes, and increase pay transparency.
  • The?K-12 education policy bill?that would increase supports for students as well as measurement and accountability for schools.
  • The Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs policy bills both passed with unanimous support!


Job Postings at New Department of Children, Youth & Families

The new state Department of Children, Youth, & Families – a focus of much of my work over several years – is hiring for a number of senior roles. These include deputy and assistant commissioners, a communications director, chief compliance officer, chief business technology officer, and general counsel. If you know of interested and qualified folks, please encourage them to apply to help launch this exciting endeavor – and help get all kids off to a #GreatStartMN. More details here.


Keep in Touch

Finally, thanks to the folks who joined the Chat with Dave earlier this month. Please continue to be in touch. And thank you for the honor of serving our community at the Capitol.

Chat with Dave


Dave Pinto
State Representative, District 64B
503 State Office Building
(651) 296-4199 

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