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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Heather Edelson (DFL)

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Legislative Update- March 1, 2019

Friday, March 1, 2019
Dear Neighbors,
As we’re wrapping up our eighth week at the Capitol, a lot has happened. Here’s an update from St. Paul:

Gun Safety Legislation

The House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Finance and Policy Division approved legislation to address the epidemic of senseless gun violence during a public hearing Wednesday night and Tuesday afternoon.
HF 8 would require criminal background checks to be performed prior to all gun sales. Minnesota’s background check system currently has loopholes allowing dangerous individuals to obtain guns via online dealers or through private sales. Evidence shows expanded background checks will save lives, and states which have taken this approach have experienced lower homicide rates, lower firearm suicide rates, and less firearm trafficking.
HF 9 would create “red flag laws,” providing for the temporary removal of an individual’s access to firearms if a judge determines they may be a threat to themselves or others. Through “Extreme Risk Protection Orders,” a court can be petitioned to temporarily remove guns if an individual shows signs of being dangerous. Evidence shows this tool can prevent suicides, homicides, and mass shooting events. 
Minnesotans deserve to be safe in all public spaces, and I’m committed to delivering that for our community.

Tobacco 21 Advances

This week, the Commerce Committee heard my bill to increase the age requirement for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21. It advanced out of committee and its next stop is the Health and Human Services Policy committee.  


Tobacco 21 Youth Rally at the Capitol
On Wednesday, I presented my bill related to school-linked mental health grants. Barriers, including transportation needs and busy schedules can prevent children from receiving the treatment they need and deserve. School-linked mental health services help eliminate these barriers. The bill received positive testimony from parents, educators and mental health professionals. I’m pleased that it advanced out of the committee without opposition.

Budget Forecast

Minnesota Management and Budget announced this week a projected budget surplus of $1.05 billion, down $429 million since November. While this is still positive, this slowdown of economic growth shows Minnesota’s budget outlook has weakened, and there are significant notes of caution for the future. It’s important to exercise caution, and to prioritize investments in the things that we value as Minnesotans, like strong schools, affordable and quality health care and community prosperity. You can read more about the budget forecast here.

Dyslexia Day at the Capitol

It was Dyslexia Day at the Capitol this week! Thank you to Rachel Berger, Decoding Dyslexia and all the amazing kids, like Gemma, and the parents who showed up.

Keep in Touch

Please reach out with any questions, comments or ideas. I value your input and welcome your feedback anytime!

Have a safe weekend,
Heather Edelson
State Representative
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