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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lucy Rehm (DFL)

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Legislative Update- February 15, 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the milder temperatures. After a brief bout of COVID recently, it was great to return to the Capitol.


The first woman statue at the Capitol honoring Nellie Stone Johnson. She was a fierce labor, civil rights and education advocate.

Though my symptoms were mild due in large part to vaccines, I’m grateful for modern technology and the tools we have in place at the legislature so I could continue to work for our communities remotely.

Our work continues at the House as we vet bills and move forward with proposals to lower costs and help improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans.

Here’s a look at what we’re advancing in St. Paul:


Increasing Public Safety

More Tools for Prosecuting Violent Crime

Last week on Monday, the House passed – with my support – bipartisan legislation to invest in the prosecution of violent crimes such as attempted murder, kidnapping, assault, sexual assault, robbery, burglary, and human/sex trafficking. Currently, our counties are stretched thin, especially in rural parts of the state. Many of these communities have a low tax base, and that should not prevent communities from accessing the legal tools they need to keep bad actors off their streets. WCCO covered the topic and you can see the story here.

Gun Violence Prevention Legislation Advances

Victims of gun violence, physicians, and law enforcement organizations including the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association testified in support of four significant bills to address gun violence recently. These include:

  • HF 14 would require criminal background checks on all gun sales in Minnesota. The legislation would close loopholes allowing dangerous felons and other prohibited individuals to purchase guns from unlicensed sellers.

  • HF 15 would establish Extreme Risk Protection Orders. The legislation would allow a family member, law enforcement officer, or city or county attorney to petition a court to temporarily remove access to guns from individuals in crisis who may be in danger of harming themselves or others.

  • HF 396 would require firearms and ammunition to be stored securely, an important step to prevent access by children.

  • HF 601 would require gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement. Lost and stolen guns are often used in crimes or end up in the hands of those who may cause harm to themselves or others.

We know we can’t prevent all forms of gun violence, but these are long overdue steps we can take to keep more Minnesotans safe.

Restoring Driving Privileges

Up until 2003, anyone eligible to drive in our state could apply, regardless of immigration status.

Earlier this month, the House passed HF 4, which allows motorists who can pass a driving exam and have a common understanding of the rules of the road, to earn a driver’s license.

The bill, which I voted to pass, is supported by a broad coalition, including law enforcement, chambers of commerce, agribusiness, faith-based organizations and workers’ rights advocates.



Expanding Health Care Access

The House has been advancing legislation to expand access to health care through the committee process. Here are a few bills of interest advancing:

Lowering Prescription Drug Prices; Protecting Consumers from Price Gouging

Last week, a bill I’m co-authoring is moving forward, and would prohibit price gouging of generic prescription drugs. The bill would also establish a prescription drug affordability board to keep manufacturers in check with price changes that negatively harm our seniors and families.

School-Linked Mental Health

The second significant bill that moved last week relates to school-linked mental health. Without the mental health treatment they need, kids struggle to learn and cope in the classroom. School-linked mental health partnerships with schools have been around since 2007, but funding hasn’t kept up to meet the needs of our kids who need it most. This is a positive development and I’ll continue to monitor its progress as a member of the House Education Finance Committee.

Expanding Diagnostic Coverage for Breast Cancer Patients

The House Health Finance Committee also approved a bill that requires Medical Assistance, MinnesotaCare, and other health plans to cover additional mammogram diagnostic testing to ensure a complete breast cancer screening. Quality care includes comprehensive care, and early detection is critical. I’m glad to see this measure moving forward. Read more here.


Black History Month

February is Black History Month, a time to reflect on the achievements and contributions of African Americans, as well as educate others about the rich cultural heritage and history of the Black community. Black History Month celebrates the important role African Americans have played in shaping history and society in Minnesota and across the country.

Recently, the CROWN Act was into law, which explicitly prohibits racial discrimination based on natural hair texture and hair styles such as braids, locs, and twists. Juneteenth has also officially been named as a state holiday to commemorate June 19 as the official end of slavery in the United States.



Keep in Touch

Please continue to reach out anytime at with questions, input, or ideas. I'm always happy to provide assistance! 

Have a great week,

Lucy Rehm
State Representative 

Representative Lucille "Lucy" Rehm

533 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

Phone: 651-296-5066
Email: (replies to this newsletter are not monitored)
Legislative Assistant: Zehra Khan, 651-296-8803