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

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House Passes Insulin Affordability Act

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Beloved Community,

The House DFL is taking strong action to save lives during this global pandemic. Even though we are working under difficult circumstances, we will not forget the promises we made. COVID-19 may be foremost on our minds, but we understand that all the issues affecting our communities are still there. Here is an update on some of the progress we are making to address these issues.

House Passes Alec Smith Affordability Act

Yesterday, the House voted to pass the Alec Smith Affordability Act. After many months of negotiations with Republicans, we finally reached a bipartisan consensus on this important legislation. I’m deeply grateful for the tireless advocacy of those who have suffered the most at the hands of the pharmaceutical companies, and who kept up the pressure on lawmakers to get this across the finish line. The final version of the bill ensures those who urgently need a supply of insulin can get one and will require pharmaceutical manufacturers – who have made enormous profits off of the drug as its price has skyrocketed – to reimburse pharmacies for these emergency supplies. The legislation also provides relief for those who need assistance on a longer-term basis by requiring drug makers to create a patient assistance program. If they don’t comply, the companies could be fined up to $3.6 million for the first year, doubling in the second year. You can read the legislation here.

While I’m pleased that this compromise delivers overdue help for those people with diabetes who need it, this legislation is not perfect. I am disappointed that the legislation has a strict ID requirement which can potentially leave out some Minnesotans, including those in our immigrant community, tribal members, and some students who don’t possess a driver’s license or state ID card. My House DFL colleagues and I remain committed to ensuring everyone has access to health care they can afford, including lower prescription drug prices.

House Introduces Housing Assistance Bill

We have heard loud and clear from all of you that the House needs to take action to assist Minnesotans with their housing needs. Housing is a human right; corporations and landlords should not profit off of the struggles of working class Minnesotans. That’s why the House has introduced H.F. 4551. This legislation will solidify the Governor’s executive order halting evictions and foreclosures, prohibit the charging of interest or late fees during this emergency, and provide $100 million in housing assistance. I won’t sugarcoat things for you, the greed and power of landlords and banks means that the Republican party is unlikely to agree to any sort of housing assistance. But I promise you I will fight for our community members who desperately need housing help. I encourage you to contact the Governor’s office and Senate leadership to pressure them to take action on housing aid. 

Virtual Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who was able to join Rep. Gomez, Sen. Hayden and me at our virtual town hall. I’m really happy that so many of you took the time to join us and discuss what is most important to our community during this pandemic. For those who weren't able to participate this time, I hope we are all able to connect again in the future. You can watch the recorded town hall here.

Keep in touch

If you have friends, neighbors, or co-workers who might be interested in subscribing to this newsletter, they can do so here, and follow me on Facebook here. I’m grateful for the honor of serving you and our community. Please, now more than ever, feel free to reach out to my office.


Rep. Hodan Hassan,

531 State Office Building

(651) 296-0294