Prescription Drug Price Transparency Act
I’m pleased to share that my bipartisan bill to address skyrocketing prescription drug pricing has advanced to the House Floor. A full vote of the Minnesota House of Representatives is anticipated on Saturday. You can learn more about the bill and read my full statement here.
Revised Economic Forecast
Early this week, we received an updated state budget forecast from Minnesota Management and Budget which signaled an anticipated $2.4 billion deficit. On a positive note, responsible budgeting decisions made in recent years have left the state with $2.3 billion in our state's rainy-day fund, which will help us manage this deficit. We can still anticipate incoming federal funding to help us with our state response to COVID-19, but now more than ever, we must proceed with caution.
Minnesota House Passes COVID-19 Economic Security Package
Today with my support, the House passed a package of COVID-19 economic security legislation. The bill includes measures for emergency housing assistance for renters, homeowners, and landlords, an overdue wage increase for personal care assistants, funding to expand broadband access, and small business loans. This ‘bread and butter’ package helps get to the heart of what Minnesotans deserve during a global pandemic: a roof over our heads; economic security for those who take care of the most vulnerable in our society; basic internet access; and support for our smallest businesses who haven’t been able to tap into federal relief funds. The funding for this package would come from the state’s $1.87 billion share of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act if available.
Securing Safe Elections
One topic several community members expressed interest in during last week’s virtual town hall meeting was ensuring they’ll be able to vote safely in our upcoming elections. I’m pleased to share we’ve passed bipartisan, comprehensive legislation that allows for the release of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) federal funds, which will be used to ensure the health and safety of election officials and in-person voters. The federal funds will also go toward preparation for increased absentee voting, new polling place locations, the purchase of sanitation and disinfectant supplies, and public outreach for implementing social distancing guidelines related to voting. I am disappointed a mail-in voting measure was not included in this bill, however, I’ll continue to advocate for it and other safe and secured strategies that encourage civic engagement.
May 18—our constitutionally required date to adjourn—is just around the corner. Please continue to reach out with questions or input anytime. I appreciate hearing from you!
Thank you for the honor of serving you and your family at the state legislature.