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

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Legislative Update – February 10, 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Dear Neighbors,

The Winter Olympics are here, and I want to offer my best wishes to all of our athletes representing the United States of America. While I’m rooting for everyone wearing the red, white, and blue, I want to send my very best wishes to Team Shuster and Coach Phill Drobnick from Eveleth to bring home the gold in curling! We’re Iron Range proud!

Lislegard USA Curling

2022 Legislative Session Begins

Opening Day Graphic

The Minnesota Legislative Session convened last Monday at noon. It’s been about two years since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and Minnesotans continue to face difficulties. Workers, families, and businesses are counting on all of us to work together to ensure everyone can have an opportunity to share in the success and prosperity they deserve. It’s time to have a laser focus on the kitchen table issues that Minnesotans are worrying about and address the difficulties they are facing in our communities.

This session, I’ll be working to help advance our economic recovery through additional pay for frontline workers, assistance to small businesses – including fully repaying the Unemployment Insurance trust fund, permanent tax cuts, investments in public infrastructure, and increases to Local Government Aid. We also need to come together to deliver more resources to our schools so they can once again provide a world-class education to our students. As Minnesotans are facing increased costs, I’ll be working to make health care more affordable, make social security payments exempt from income taxes, and make affordable child care more accessible. Given the stresses of the pandemic, we also need to invest in our health care workforce in hospitals and long-term care facilities. The challenges are vast, but with a spirit of bipartisan cooperation – and a significant budget surplus – working alongside Senator Tomassoni and our Iron Range Delegation, I’m hopeful we can build a stronger future for our whole state.

Workers Comp Presumption for Frontline Workers

Last Thursday, we quickly passed legislation on a bipartisan basis to extend the COVID-19 presumption for workers’ compensation. The law provides a presumption that if public safety or health care workers contract COVID-19, they did so during the course of their employment and are covered by workers’ compensation. The previous law allowing for this presumption sunsetted on December 31, 2021, leaving 183,000 frontline workers and their families without the guarantee of compensation in the event they contract COVID-19. The new bill would extend the presumption to January 13, 2023.

COVID-19 case numbers are headed in the right direction, but our frontline workers like nurses, EMTs, child care workers, and police officers are still facing an increased exposure to the pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, they’ve stepped up to be there for us, so it’s critically important we have their backs if they get sick.

Insulin Safety Net Program

In 2020, I was proud to support the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act. In recent years, the price of insulin has increased at outrageous levels, and as a result, some people with diabetes have felt like they have no alternative but to ration their supply. The bill, named after one such young adult who tragically died after rationing his insulin, gives Minnesotans access to an emergency supply along with a program to make affordable insulin available on a long-term basis.

Alec’s mother, Nicole Smith-Holt, is featured in this video where she shares Alec’s story. Please take a few minutes to watch and learn more about Minnesota’s Insulin Safety Net program. It’s unconscionable that someone could lose their life because they can’t afford lifesaving medications, and this session I’ll support additional solutions to address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.

Wolf Hunt

Greater Minnesota has seen an explosion in the wolf population that has desecrated the moose and the deer populations. I’ve heard from many folks concerned not just about the damage to wildlife, but to livestock and pets. To address this growing problem, I’ve introduced legislation to require an open wolf hunting season. The DNR is completing updates to the state’s wolf management plan, and their data will likely show a hunting season will be necessary to control the population. The Mesabi Tribune highlighted the issue here.

As always, feel free to contact me to share your input on issues important to you, or if I can ever be of assistance. It’s an honor to represent you and our region in the Minnesota House.


Dave Lislegard
State Representative