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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 2, 2019

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

My Dear Community,
As the days have gotten longer we’ve also spent longer nights at the Capitol – we have just two months left in the legislative session and a lot to get done. Here’s an update on the progress we’ve made. 
The Cost of Life-Saving Medication
Alec Smith was a 26-year-old from Minneapolis who died in the summer of 2017 because he couldn’t afford $1,200 each month for the insulin he needed to survive. A drug that has been around for so long, and costs a tiny fraction of that cost to produce, should never be out of reach for Minnesotans who depend on it. The DFL caucus has a comprehensive plan to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable and put more power in the hands of Minnesotans.
It’s one of the strongest proposals to address the rising cost of prescription drugs in the country. It increases transparency for drug manufacturers, improves public scrutiny of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), leverages the State of Minnesota’s purchasing power to cut health care costs. You can learn more about it from MPR 
here, and WCCO here.

Renter Protections 
Last night, the House passed Rep. Mohamud Noor’s bill to increase renter protections and amend requirements to ensure greater lease transparency. This bill would level the playing field between tenants and landlords, who have disproportionate power when determining lease agreements.
The bill would require landlords to disclose the unit being rented; require the lease start and end dates be put on the first page of a lease; and prevent a tenant from getting charged a full month's rent when they are required to move out before the month has ended. This is a bill about fairness, transparency, and protecting renters. You can read more 
For years, Big Pharma has collected billions in profits while they convince doctors and the general public that their products are harmless – and they haven’t paid a dime to help Minnesotans get treatment. Because of their powerful lobbying, opioid addiction can devastate anyone who goes to a doctor seeking treatment for pain. This is wrong, and it’s time they start contributing to the solution to the opioid crisis that has affected all of our communities.
In 2017, more than 400 Minnesotans died as a result of opioid overdoses. The Minnesota House DFL reacted to the heartbreaking stories that Minnesotans have told us. We voted last week in favor of legislation to fight the opioid epidemic. You can read more from the Star Tribune 
Sexual Harassment
All Minnesotans deserve to live and work in an environment that’s free from sexual harassment, yet more than 80 percent of women report experiencing harassment in the workplace. On March 21, I voted along with 112 of my colleagues in the House to allow victims and survivors to seek justice. Current law states that harassment needs to be “severe and pervasive” for a victim to have a case in court. This bill changes that standard, so that more victims and survivors can come forward.
Driver’s Licenses for All
After four committee stops, we are going to finally debate the Driver’s Licenses for All bill on the House Floor on Friday, April 5. You can find the details on how to follow along 

Without driver’s licenses, many Minnesotans can’t live full, productive lives. Often, in order to fully participate in civic life, those without licenses have no choice but to drive, endangering themselves and public safety.
Minnesotans shouldn’t have to fear being permanently separated from their families for something as basic and necessary as driving themselves to work. I’m confident that the DFL-led House will pass this bill to make our roads safer, and more equitable.
Safety on the Roads 
We all know it when we see it – a distracted driver swerving between lanes or failing to see a traffic sign. These quick mistakes contribute to an average of 53 deaths and 216 injuries in Minnesota each year.
Minnesotans should be safe from distracted drivers on our roads. Last week, the Minnesota House and Senate followed the example of 16 other states that have passed hands-free cell phone laws, successfully decreasing fatalities on the roads. Both the Senate and the House approved versions of the bill, and it is on its way to becoming law. I voted for this measure because I know that no one’s life is worth a text message.

Mark Your Calendar
On Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 a.m. – noon I’m hosting a community meeting with ISAIAH. We’ll talk about the legislative session and you can share your thoughts and ideas. You can sign up 
It’s an honor to serve you and I welcome any input you have, at any time!
Aisha Gomez
State Representative – District 62B