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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Robert Bierman (DFL)

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Legislative Update - May 3, 2024

Friday, May 3, 2024

Dear neighbors,

I hope everyone is having a good start to May. This week at the State Capitol, we continued debating and passing policy bills off the House floor. 

Among a number of bills, we passed the Legacy policy package, which funds programs for art education and access, preserves history, commemorates our veterans, and celebrates Minnesota’s diverse cultural heritage. It also invests over $25 million to protect water, address nitrate pollution, and funds floodplain restoration, as well as over $12 million in funds to guard against invasive carp. 

We also passed the Education supplemental budget bill. Literacy and reading empower us to learn new things, participate actively in society, and enrich our lives through understanding. That’s why in this bill we are investing an additional $37 million in new Read Act funding, because all Minnesotan kids deserve the tools they need to be successful in and out of the classroom.

In our Environment and Natural Resources supplemental budget bill, DFLers are building on last year’s historic investments in protecting our environment and natural resources. We passed funding for tree planting, increasing oversight and holding repeat polluters accountable, and taking major steps forward in recycling and waste reduction.

House DFLers delivered a historic, transformational transportation budget in 2023. This year, Democrats are delivering robust investments in railroad safety, public transit, climate change, driver’s examinations, and more. We are improving safety by requiring rumble strips on all state highways outside of city limits and adopting lower speed limits with federal standards. DFLers are also addressing pedestrian fatalities by requiring future street planning to include safe pedestrian infrastructure. 

In our Housing policy and supplemental budget bill, DFLers focused on housing stability, making the largest impact for the Minnesotans who are most in need. We’re providing emergency rental assistance, keeping senior housing affordable, and supporting $50 million in Housing Infrastructure Bonds to build more homes.

Finally, in our Children and Families supplemental budget bill, DFLers are investing to help feed hungry Minnesotans, with additional funding for food shelves and food banks, promoting healthier communities and a stronger social safety net, as well as critically needed reforms to Minnesota’s child protection system.

We still have a lot of work to do as we approach the end of the legislative session, and I’m looking forward to voting in favor of bills to improve the lives of Minnesotans.

Community Coffee Hour

This Saturday, May 4th, at 9:30am I will be hosting another Community Coffee Hour at Galaxie Library. This event is an opportunity for you to share any thoughts or concerns about issues you care about as we enter the final weeks of the Legislative Session. I hope to see you there.


Hennepin Healthcare

This week, Rep. Tina Liebling and I introduced legislation to update the law governing the Hennepin Healthcare System (HHS). Amid concerns of potential action by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners to dissolve the HHS Board of Directors and retake full control of the system, our legislation aims to create procedural safeguards around any potential dissolution. HHS is an absolutely vital part of Minnesota’s health care system, and we must ensure that any change in its governance doesn’t compromise the quality of service it provides. 

Our legislation would restrict the county board from dissolving the HHS board except in case of malfeasance following a formal investigation. We outlined a series of steps including notice, identification of the specific acts of malfeasance, and an assessment of the implications of the action, including on programs, services, and continued access to health care by the community.

We will continue working with Hennepin County leadership to refine the language of the bill to promote stability for HCMC while not infringing on the Hennepin County Board’s important role of oversight.

Passing Gun Safety Legislation

Lost and stolen guns are often used in crimes, or end up in the hands of those who may cause harm to themselves or others. According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, roughly 266,000 guns were stolen across the U.S. per year from 2017-2021. Of these, only 3% were stolen from federally licensed gun dealers, while 95% were stolen from private citizens, equivalent to one every two minutes, and a quarter are never reported to law enforcement.

This week we passed legislation to help prevent gun trafficking, assist in recovering lost or stolen guns, make firearm owners more accountable for their weapons, and give our law enforcement another tool to help keep our communities safe and free of gun violence by requiring lost or stolen firearms to be reported to law enforcement within 48 hours after they are known to be lost.

We also passed legislation strengthening Minnesota’s laws around straw purchases, which occur when an individual buys a firearm for someone ineligible to purchase or possess them. H.F. 2609 updates the state’s straw purchasing law to increase the penalty from a gross misdemeanor to a felony.

Finally, we passed H.F. 4300, which requires the safe storage of firearms, an important step to prevent access by children and others who should not have access to guns. This bill requires firearms be stored either unloaded and equipped with a locking device or placed in a locked firearm storage unit (e.g., a gun safe) or a locked gun room, where it may be either loaded or unloaded. The safe storage of firearms will save lives.

All Minnesotans deserve to be safe in their communities, and this legislation is a step in the right direction. I was proud to vote yes on these bills.

Keep in Touch

Please continue to contact me anytime you have questions, need assistance, or have input to share at or 651-296-5506. I always appreciate hearing from you. You’re also welcome to follow me on my official Facebook page for more updates.

Thank you for the honor of representing our Apple Valley neighbors at the State Capitol.


Robert Bierman

State Representative