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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Hodan Hassan (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 11, 2019

Thursday, April 11, 2019

One of the most important things the state legislature will do this year is to write a state budget to pay for our schools, health care programs, roads and bridges, and affordable housing. This week, the House DFL announced portions of a new state budget that makes our state more fair, equitable and affordable. The top concerns I hear from our community are about the cost of housing, the availability of fair wages and benefits, and the quality of education. Here’s an overview of what our budget does to address those concerns.
Funding for public education has not kept pace with the rate of inflation, which has resulted in teacher layoffs, larger class sizes, and less support for students. I believe all of our children deserve a world-class education, no matter where they live in our state. That’s why I support a budget that invests in every student in every public school. This week we released a tax proposal that decreases taxes for families by increasing taxes on corporations. Three quarters of that funding will go directly to closing opportunity gaps, funding early childhood education, and increasing education opportunities across the state.
Minnesotans deserve the education and job training needed to get a good-paying job. Our Minnesota Values Budget freezes tuition at our public colleges and universities — a step to stop increases in college debt.

Minnesotans deserve safe, affordable housing. Our housing budget makes new investments in affordable housing, puts more power in hands of renters and tenants, and works toward eliminating homelessness. Last week, the House passed a bill to increase renter protections and ensure greater transparency from landlords.
Economic Development & Jobs 
Ensuring paid family and medical leave is a key component of our plan to boost economic development. Paid family leave will allow Minnesotans to take time off of when unexpected life events happen - like serious illness, hospitalization, or a newborn baby - without having to fear losing a paycheck. This is an important step toward putting more power into workers’ hands.

Every year, 39,000 Minnesotans experience wage theft by their employers, meaning they don't receive the wages or overtime pay that they've earned. The House DFL budget will hold employers accountable for taking advantage of hard-working Minnesota families.
Transportation Safety Bill Passes House & Senate 
House Democrats and Senate Republicans worked together this week to pass a bill to increase drivers' safety. There are a lot of distractions out on the road, and our cell phones are a constant cause of accidents and distraction. I proudly voted for this bill that will make our roads safer for everyone by requiring Minnesotans to put down their phones and focus on the road. The Governor is expected to sign the bill on Friday.
Drivers' Licences for All  
On Friday my House colleagues and I voted for the freedom for all Minnesotans to earn their driver’s license, regardless of immigration status. This bill will make our roads safer AND more inclusive. Immigrants are part of the fabric of our state and our country. The very least we can do is to have compassion for those who have left their home country, their customs, safety, and their friends behind to build a better life for their family.

Watch Rep. Hassan’s speech on the House Floor here 

Community Development
The Family Tree Clinic has been around (in St. Paul) for 45 years, but have never turned a patient away if they couldn't pay. Why? Because they have a deep understanding of the importance of reproductive and sexual health services.

I chief authored a bill to provide funding for the Family Tree Clinic to expand access to community health and education programs to our community. Poverty, oppression, lack of access and discrimination are just a handful of the challenges that people face when it comes to getting their health care needs met. All Minnesota children deserve access to health care and mental health assistance. This clinic will help those patients that face the greatest barriers. The Star Tribune wrote about it recently, which you can read here

Don’t forget to fill out your taxes this weekend - they are due on Monday! Remember as you do taxes that there are resources available to many people. There are free tax preparation resources available here, and nearly 65 percent of Minnesotans are eligible for free filing, you can read more about filing for free here.

Please reach out with any questions. It’s an honor to serve you and I want to make sure that I am accessible to you and your concerns. 
Hodan Hassan
State Representative - District 62A