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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Long (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 22, 2019

Friday, March 22, 2019

Dear neighbors,

I hope you’re enjoying the first days of spring! Here’s an update on what I’ve been working on this week and some of the important legislation that we passed in the House.

Distracted Driving Prevention

Milt Olin, a close friend of my family, was an avid bike rider. Several years ago, he was biking when he was struck and killed by a driver going nearly 50 miles per hour. The driver was texting his wife at the time and was distracted for 20 full seconds. He never noticed that he’d drifted into the bike lane, never saw Milt, never slowed down, and never braked.

On Monday, I had the honor to vote for a hands-free cell phone bill that would ensure that drivers keep their focus on the road (HF 50). Distracted driving kills. We must act to ensure there are no more tragedies like Milt’s death.

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

The rate of opioid deaths continues to increase in Minnesota, and thousands of people are currently struggling with addiction. Our families and communities are paying the price while Big Pharma makes billions of dollars in profits. It’s past time to take meaningful action to address this crisis and hold Big Pharma accountable for creating it.

The House recently approved legislation to fight the opioid epidemic by investing in prevention, treatment, and recovery (HF 400). The funding for these services would come from opioid manufacturers and distributors.

Community Solar Gardens

Minnesota has the most successful community solar program in the country. Yesterday I presented legislation to build on that success and allow people to take action to support renewable energy in their own lives (HF 2625).

Individuals and groups can benefit from owning part of a community solar garden without bearing the cost of the entire project. Solar gardens reduce the price of energy for subscribers and public entities like schools. More than 10,000 Minnesota residents are currently saving money with a community solar subscription. However, there have been some obstacles to increasing the number of residential subscribers. My bill responds to some of these challenges, and encourages community solar projects to serve low-income customers.

Minnesota Values Podcast

Check out the fifth episode of the Minnesota Values Podcast. This week Rep. Liz Olson and I talked with Rep. John Lesch of St. Paul about tackling prescription drug costs (HF 4) and giving all Minnesotans access to earned sick and safe time (HF 11)! Listen and subscribe on SoundCloud.

Save the Date

All are welcome to attend my next town hall with Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Frank Hornstein on April 7. Climate change, energy, and transportation will be the focus of the meeting. We hope to see you there!

When: Sunday, April 7 from 1 – 3 p.m.
Where: Temple Israel, 2323 Fremont Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

Whether you’re able to make it to the town hall or not, I hope that you’ll share your questions and opinions. Please feel free to give me a call at 651-296-5375 or send an email to