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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Larry Kraft (DFL)

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Legislative Update: April 19, 2024

Friday, April 19, 2024
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We are more than halfway through the 2024 Legislative Session, and the House is now focused on passing policy bill packages in major areas, as well as putting together small supplemental budgets to continue our work improving the lives of Minnesotans.




House Floor Votes

Recently the House began passing policy bill packages in major issue areas building on the work of our historically productive 2023 session. So far the House has passed:

  • Bills supporting our Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs, which passed with unanimous support.
  • A bipartisan higher education policy bill that, among many provisions, includes the clean energy sector in our Workforce Development Scholarship Program and expands support in higher education for students who have a disability.
  • An early education policy bill focused on strengthening our pre-kindergarten and school readiness programs.
  • A bipartisan transportation policy package that improves road safety, DVS wait times, child passenger safety, and consumer protections. This bill includes my excavation safety bill (HF2717). It’s been a long road on getting this bill done. I started on it last session and it has required a lot of stakeholder engagement. But it will make the excavation process (think 811 - Call before you dig) better and safer by leveraging changes in technology, adding reporting, and improving communication processes.
  • An election bill that addresses voting rights, election disinformation, and school board appointments. This bill includes my bill that builds on the 16 & 17 year old voter pre-registration bill I carried last session (that is now law). This new bill, HF4068, instructs high schools to share voter registration/pre-registration information twice a year with students that are 16 or older (today they have to give this info to any student that will be eligible to vote in the next election). 
  • A public safety package that passed unanimously and includes bipartisan provisions that protect victim-survivors and make our system more just.




Copper Wire Bill Heard in Commerce

This week the Commerce Committee heard HF 4461, a comprehensive solution to copper wire theft that has impacted our city streets and parks in dozens of cities and towns across Minnesota. We all have a responsibility to take action and prevent further harm. This proposed legislation presents a crucial step in that direction, and I strongly support it.

The bill will now go to Ways and Means before coming to a final House vote.


Net Neutrality 

My legislation on net neutrality was included in the Commerce Policy bill. Net Neutrality prevents discrimination against content or services by ensuring that Internet Service Providers cannot block, throttle, or prioritize data based on their commercial interests. It safeguards an open and democratic online environment, and is key to maintaining fair access to information and services for all users. It's also about fostering innovation and competition online, in that it ensures a level playing field for businesses or anyone that wants to offer a service over the internet. You may hear that the federal government will be re-implementing net neutrality in the next several months, which actually is fantastic. However, they have gone back and forth on the policy depending on the administration, so it will be reassuring that Minnesota will have net neutrality even if there are future changes in the federal position. 

Long Term Disability Insurance and Mental Health

Did you know that most long term disability insurance plans limit coverage if a disability is related to mental health? I didn’t, but I learned about it from a friend and fellow Minnesotan, and it doesn’t make sense to me. Why should we be treating the brain differently than other parts of the body? It also can create weird incentives for insurance companies to try to classify long term disability issues as mental health related, as payments to the policyholder would then be limited (often to two years). While I hoped to require mental health parity in these plans, sometimes compromise is necessary and this was one of those cases. So, my bill now requires insurance companies to include a disclosure and notify potential policyholders or plan sponsors if a Long Term Disability Insurance plan being purchased limits the duration of coverage for mental health or substance use disorder conditions. This disclosure must be acknowledged and that acknowledgment must be kept on file for a minimum of two years. My testifier, Sally Mernelstein, did a great job of explaining the issue, and you can hear her comments here.

Funding Habitats Across Minnesota 

This week, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) issued its annual Call for Funding Request from the Outdoor Heritage Fund. Approximately $150 million will be available for both metro and statewide grants to aid Minnesota habitat restoration, protection and enhancement.

This is a great opportunity for investment in the habitats that exist in our own community! 

Requests are due to the LSOHC on Friday, May 24, 2024 at 4 p.m., with funds for approved programs signed into law during the 2025 legislative session being available on Monday, July 1, 2025.

Since the Outdoor Heritage Fund’s creation in 2008, $1.6 billion in on-the-ground habitat programs have been allocated by the Minnesota Legislature and over 1.4 million acres of Minnesota forests, prairies and wetlands have been restored, protected or enhanced. The latest set of funding recommendations totaling $180 million is currently before the Minnesota Legislature.

Proposal requirements and terms of funding are outlined in the Call for Funding Request. To view details or learn more, visit: For answers to specific questions, contact LSOHC Staff: If you have a potential project proposal but are unsure, LSOHC are there to help! 

Secure Medicine Disposal

Are you unsure of where to dispose of your unwanted medicine? MyOldMeds provides safe disposal locations across Minnesota with a convenient locator tool that makes it easy to find an option near you. 

This resource page is tailored to provide information specifically for residents of Minnesota on the proper use, storage, and disposal of household medicines. On the page, you can view a directory of over 500 secure disposal locations in the state, access shareable social media graphics, and learn more about the free and easy-to-use resources available near them.

There are 6 secure medicine disposal options in the St. Louis Park area. 

Community Meetings 


1. I had the honor of meeting former U.S. House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt who was in MN supporting Rep. Kristin Bahner’s great Kids Code bill, that aims to protect kids by requiring online products and services reasonably likely to be accessed by youth under 18 to be age appropriate and designed in kids best interests.

2. Constituents from Moms Demand Action talking about gun violence prevention.

3. With nursing students from St. Thomas - some of whom are constituents!

4. Talking affordable childcare with these constituents!

5. School psychologists, including Daniel from SLP schools on School Psychology Association Day

6. Talking climate with students from the Univ of MN’s College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences (including my intern Will - furthest to right in photo)


Stay in Touch

If you have questions, ideas, or feedback that you’d like to share, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can email me at or call (651) 296-7026. For more regular updates, you can subscribe to these legislative updates if you haven’t already, here, and you can also “like” and follow my official State Representative Facebook page.


Larry Kraft

State Representative