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

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Legislative Update - January 17, 2019

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

Greetings from the Minnesota State Capitol, where last week, I had the honor to take the oath of office to serve as State Representative for District 6B. I’m more grateful than I could possibly explain here for the trust you’ve placed in me. I’m committed to putting people before politics, and am excited for all the work ahead.

Rep. Tom Rukavina

I’m deeply saddened by last week’s passing of Rep. Tom Rukavina. For decades, he was a force for the Iron Range and his contributions over his career in public service will be felt for generations. I’m grateful I got to spend some time with him before he passed. He was kind enough to share valuable information with me both about some important issues facing the Range and how to best navigate business at the Capitol.

House Image

During last Thursday’s House Floor Session, we took some time to share memories of Tommy. It was extremely difficult, but my very first speech was part of this. You can watch video here.

I recognize the shoes I have to fill, but to do this would be impossible; he is simply irreplaceable and will be greatly missed. Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, January 19 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Virginia. Visitation is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. tomorrow night, January 18 at the Range Funeral Home, and then at 9:30 a.m. at the church on Saturday.

One Minnesota

With Governor Tim Walz leading the way, it’s been refreshing to hear the conversation shift to how we can truly build “One Minnesota.” At the Legislature, no matter if you’re up on the Iron Range, from a rural agricultural community, the suburbs, the urban core, or a regional center we all want things like great schools, affordable health care, and good-paying job opportunities. While we have some shared core values, we all have our own backgrounds and the areas we represent all have their unique characteristics and challenges.

While I’m down here at the Capitol during the session, I look forward to spending some time in some of my colleagues’ own districts in the metro area. More than anything though, I look forward to having them visit the Iron Range in the near future. I’m making bringing them up north a first priority so they have the opportunity to learn about our region, including our rich heritage as it relates to mining and our tradition of strong organized labor. This will be a great way to foster relationships with legislators across the state to help them understand our way of life, and ensure our voice is being heard. The Mesabi Daily News had a good write-up about this plan here.

Committee Assignments and Bills

I’ve been given four committee assignments for the coming legislative session, one of which is Vice Chair of the House Taxes Committee. This will be an important position as we look to make sure our state tax policy is founded in fairness and gives all Minnesota families, businesses, workers, and communities a chance to succeed. I’m also pleased to have a front row seat as we work on state/federal tax conformity, which will be a massive undertaking down the road. As a former mayor, I also know the importance of Local Government Aid and will fight to ensure communities can deliver critical services and keep our property taxes low.

I’ll also be serving on the Commerce Committee, Environment and Natural Resources Policy Committee, and Greater Minnesota Jobs and Economic Development Finance Division. Each of these will give me a great opportunity to ensure the Iron Range can thrive with good-paying union jobs and economic prosperity.

I’ve already signed on to several bills as a co-author, including important measures to invest in early childhood education, fund student support grants, stop prescription drug price gouging, expand affordable health care options, end wage theft, and expand broadband infrastructure. I’ll have more information about these initiatives in the coming weeks.

Stay in Touch

Be sure to share your opinions, ideas, and feedback throughout the session, and if I can ever be of help in any way, don’t hesitate to contact me. My phone number at the Capitol is 651-296-0170. My website is up and running here, as is my State Representative Facebook page here. Feel free to invite your neighbors to sign up for these e-mail updates, which they can do here.

It’s an honor to represent you at the State Capitol.


Dave Lislegard

State Representative