Weekly Update – February 28
The third week is wrapped up and the pace of the 2020 legislative session has yet to slow down. As the session keeps going, I encourage all of you to continue to reach out to me, schedule meetings, and voice your concerns.
Below are just some of the highlights and topics being discussed. I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and concerns with me and look forward to another week.
Hearing on SF 3177
On Monday, I had the privilege of presenting SF 3177 to the Human Services Reform Finance and Policy committee. This bill adds the requires that on-the-job training requirements for direct support staff providing licensed home and community-based services include strategies to minimize the risk of sexual violence, including concepts of healthy relationships, consent, and bodily autonomy of people with disabilities. People with intellectual disabilities are over seven times more likely to be the victim of sexual assault than people without disabilities. This is an important step forward for the disabled community.
The House of Representatives this week debated and passed HF 3100, a bill to establish an emergency insulin program and longer-term insulin assistance program to help patients struggling to afford the life-sustaining drug. The House plan establishes an insulin assistance account supported by fees on insulin manufacturers, who have increased prices 1,000% since 1999. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate so the companion bill is heard in the Senate. (SF 3164)
Also this week, the House passed HF 3068, a bill to ensure voters in the March 3 presidential nominating primary have assurances their party-participation data will not be used for political purposes. National party rules require the state to record which party’s nominating ballot a person requests in this primary. The Secretary of State recommended the changes outlined in this bill, which ensure party chairs may only use the information to validate participation with the national parties and may not share or use the information in any other manner.
I have been working to address constituent concerns about their privacy in the primary elections, but, unfortunately, the Senate has been deadlocked by partisan lines in appropriately addressing the whole issue within a single bill.
Gun Violence Prevention
Finally, the House also passed HF 8, universal background checks and HF 9, emergency risk protection orders (red flag laws). The passage of these laws will help save lives by keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, as proven in other states, including those with Republican legislatures and governors. I’m proud to be an advocate for these live-saving provisions and will work to advance them in the Senate.
Upcoming Community Events
What: Home Alone Safety for Kids
Where: Mounds View Community Center
When: Thursday, March 12th 9AM-2:30PM
Ages 9-12, Cost is $20
What: Vadnais Heights Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Where: Vadnais Heights Community Park
When: Saturday, April 4th
FREE, visit the city website for more details