Occupational Therapy Day on the Hill
Youth Climate Justice Day on the Hill
Epilepsy Day on the Hill
Hunger Solutions Minnesota Day on the Hill
Broken Hearts Day on the Hill
THIS WEEK AT THE LEGISLATURE
REQUIRING NON-TOXIC SHOT ON WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS
On Monday I presented HF3342 in the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee. My bill requires hunters to use non-toxic shot for taking small game on wildlife management areas in the farmland zone. This is critical because lead is toxic, and when ingested it can affect wildlife and human health and reproduction, and at higher levels, it can be fatal.
The World Health Organization and Center for Disease Control state that there is no level of lead exposure that is considered safe for humans. The same can be said for our wildlife. The U.S. Geological Survey recently estimated that between 6,000 and 10,000 tons annually (12 to 20 million pounds) of lead enter our nation’s uplands, wetlands and waterways each year. During the 2017 MN hunting season, 178 tons of lead was deposited on state lands just during the small game hunting season.
STUDY OF CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACT ON CAPITAL INVESTMENT NEEDS
Yesterday I presented HF3055 in the House Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division Committee. My bill appropriates funding to the commissioner of natural resources to coordinate with other state agencies to assess the impacts of climate change, and to estimate the capital funding needs associated with these impacts.
I brought this bill forward because this past fall the House Capital Investment Committee traveled over 3,000 miles across the state to hear from Minnesotans in their hometown and one recurring issue that came up was rising water and the need for water infrastructure improvement. In total, there are over $114 million in requests for flood mitigation and water-related projects.
Earlier this month the committee heard from Professor Joe Magner at the University of Minnesota about climate change and its significant impacts on increased precipitation and water, so we need to have the DNR assess the impact of climate change on state-owned assets in order to understand their capital needs. The bill was re-referred to the Capital Investment Division. You can find the House Public Information Services coverage here.
LOWERING THE PRICE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
Minnesotans shouldn’t lose their lives because they can’t afford the lifesaving medications they need. Over the last ten years insulin manufacturers have tripled the price of insulin, raking in billions of dollars in profits and forcing thousands of Minnesotans to ration a drug that's life-necessary for them. Big Pharma needs to have a financial stake in solving this affordability crisis.
Wednesday night, the House passed our bill that ensures Minnesotans can get the insulin they need at a price they can afford. I was proud to cast my vote for the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act and will continue working toward making affordable health care a reality and tackling prescription drug costs.
To qualify for emergency assistance, an individual must:
- Be a Minnesota resident;
- Not be enrolled in medical assistance (MA) or MinnesotaCare;
- Gave a tax household income that is equal to or less than 500% of the federal poverty guidelines (FPG);
- (a) Be uninsured, (b) have prescription drug coverage through Medicare and have incurred annual out-of-pocket prescription drug costs that exceed $1,000, or (c) have private insurance coverage with cost sharing that exceeds $50 for a month’s supply of insulin;
- Not be eligible to receive insulin through Indian Health Services and not be enrolled in TRICARE or prescription drug benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and
- Not have had insulin first dispensed through program within the previous 12 months.
The long-term program is administered by MNsure. Eligibility criteria largely mirror requirements for the emergency program, although the income limit for the long-term program is higher at 400% FPG. Long-term program participants can receive a 90-day (or smaller) supply of insulin via pharmacies (including mail-order) or their health care providers, and eligibility lasts for 12 months. Manufacturers must provide the insulin for this program at no cost as a condition of doing business in MN. The process for the long-term plan includes the use of MNsure navigators to assist individuals in applying for MA, MinnesotaCare, pharmaceutical patient assistance programs, and other programs for which they might be eligible.
COMMON SENSE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Last night, we voted on two gun violence prevention measures: a Red Flag bill and universal background checks. It’s time we do something about America’s epidemic of senseless gun violence and mass shootings. Both of these laws are working well in other states and are supported by law enforcement, health professionals, and the vast majority of Minnesotans.
Minnesotans have been loud and clear that they want us to take action to address senseless gun violence. Senate Republicans should listen to Minnesotans and join the DFL-led House in supporting common-sense gun violence prevention measures.
I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
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