I hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and good cheer and that your New Year is off to a great start!
At the Capitol
Last week marked one year since I was sworn in as a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, and what a year its been! I look forward to continuing to push for high-quality education, access to affordable health care, and protecting our environment.
Join Me and the Climate Action Caucus
Thank you to all who participated in the latest Climate Action Caucus event! We had a great conversation about environmental issues at Dodge Nature Center.
Our next community conversation will focus on the intersection of climate and higher education. You can find more information and RSVP for the January 24 event here. Please share this email or the Facebook event with others who may be interested in joining us!
Federal Government Passes Tobacco 21
In late December, the federal government passed bipartisan legislation to raise the tobacco sales age. Retailers are now prohibited from selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and vaping devices, to anyone under the age of 21. 19 states and more than 500 cities, including Minnetonka and Plymouth, had already adopted Tobacco 21. Although this is a significant step forward, it’s still necessary to pass Tobacco 21 at the state level to ensure that it’s enforceable.
The plan that my House DFL colleagues and I introduced last fall would raise the tobacco sales age statewide, ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, increase youth education and prevention efforts, and eliminate online sales. More information about our comprehensive plan to protect young Minnesotans and stop Juul and other tobacco companies from targeting them is available here.
New Laws Take Effect
A few notable laws that we passed last year took effect on January 1. One prohibits trading teeth, tusks, and horns from elephants, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, and similar species. Another, one part of our broader strategy to address the opioid epidemic, requires medical professionals to take classes on best practices for prescribing pain medications. A third new law makes pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) subject to licensure and transparency requirements, shedding light on pharmaceutical middlemen that play a significant role in driving up the cost of prescription drugs.
More information about these measures is available here.
In Our Community
Be a Voter in the 2020 Presidential Primary
On Tuesday, March 3, Minnesotans will be able to participate in a presidential nominating primary. Absentee voting begins on Friday, January 17. No matter what your party affiliation is, it’s important to cast your vote! You can check your voter registration status and request an absentee ballot here. More information about the presidential primary is available at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Office’s website here.
Hopkins Schools Receive No Child Left Inside Grant
Last year I supported legislation that created No Child Left Inside, a grant program that helps get Minnesota kids and teens outdoors. I’m thrilled that one of the first grants was awarded to Hopkins Public Schools! The $5,000 grant will be used for preschool nature play. A full list of the 60 initiatives that received No Child Left Inside grants during the first phase of the program is available here. You can read more about some of these projects and the program’s success here.
The 2020 legislative session is only a month away. I’d like to hear from you before it begins! Please feel free to call or email me to share your thoughts.