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

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Legislative Update – March 21, 2024

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Dear Neighbors,

Happy Spring! It wouldn’t be Minnesota if we didn’t anticipate significant snowfall would find us just as the seasons change!

Here at the Capitol, our House DFL majority continues our work to deliver economic security for middle-class families, even the playing field for workers, and give communities across our state the opportunity to grow and thrive.

Making Health Care More Affordable


Too many Minnesotans currently can’t afford health insurance or have health insurance they can’t afford to use. Working families without employer-based insurance often face outrageous premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. For instance, many plans on the individual market have annual deductibles of $7,000 or higher.

I’m the lead author of legislation to create the MinnesotaCare Public Option. Based on the nation-leading, highly successful, and trusted health insurance program serving low-income working Minnesotans for over 30 years, my bill would allow more Minnesotans to access comprehensive health insurance coverage – with vision, dental, and more – with low out-of-pocket costs and a large network of quality medical providers. Those enrolled would pay their own premiums – with significantly lower prices than what’s available currently on the individual market – determined on a sliding scale based on income. All Minnesotans deserve quality, affordable health care, and the legislation to help make this a reality for thousands of more Minnesotans earned approval by its first committee last week.

Building Our Green Energy Future

Rep. Long speaking at press conference

In 2023, lawmakers – under DFL leadership – answered the call from Minnesotans of all generations to take urgent action addressing our climate crisis by enacting a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040. To achieve this benchmark – one of the most ambitious in the nation – we need wind and solar farms to generate clean energy and transmission lines to carry that energy to the electric grid. There’s a big problem though: too many clean energy projects are stuck in a slow approval process. Today, about 51% of Minnesota’s electricity comes from carbon-free sources, but according to research, to reach our 100% goal, Minnesota must double the current pace at which new solar and wind energy sources are being developed.

That’s why I worked with clean energy advocates, our partners in organized labor, and utilities to develop the Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act. This legislation will eliminate redundancies, increase transparency, and make Minnesota’s permitting process more efficient and consistent. Without upgrades to our decades-old energy permitting laws to meet the challenges we face today, our carbon-free ambitions may not become reality. The Minnesota Energy Infrastructure Permitting Act will help us meet this critical moment and remove barriers to the clean energy future all Minnesotans deserve. This legislation has also received its first committee hearing.

Tackling Worker Misclassification Fraud

Worker misclassification – which exists when an employee is incorrectly hired as an independent contractor – is a major problem in Minnesota and it’s only getting bigger. According to a recent report, in 2018, 22 percent of randomly audited employers misclassified at least one worker compared to 17 percent in 2007. Employers often do this to avoid paying decent wages or overtime pay, not provide workers compensation when their workers are hurt on the job, withhold benefits, and more. The cost of this misclassification fraud, both for individual workers and for our society, is massive. For example, misclassified construction workers can lose out on almost $17,000 a year in wages and benefits. Collectively, the misclassification of construction workers alone costs taxpayers billions of dollars a year, and that’s just one industry. Businesses that play by the rules are cheated, too.

I’m proud to support a bill to strengthen the enforcement of misclassification fraud in Minnesota. The legislation – developed by Attorney General Keith Ellison’s task force on the topic – would increase penalties, give state agencies more tools to detect and investigate fraud, empower workers to go to court if they’ve been misclassified, and more. Minnesota workers are dedicated to their jobs, and they deserve basic rights and protections in exchange for the work they perform. Fox 9 recently highlighted this important issue.

Please keep in touch with your questions, comments, and ideas. You can contact me by email at; by phone at 651-296-5375; and by postal mail at 459 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155.

It’s an honor to represent you.


Rep. Jamie Long
Majority Leader, Minnesota House of Representatives