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State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7807

For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879

Posted: 2016-05-20
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - May 20, 2016


Dear Neighbors,

We’re headed into the final weekend of the legislative session, and a great deal of heavy lifting still remains before the clock runs out to pass bills on midnight Sunday night. We will likely be meeting late into the evening and throughout the weekend.

Yesterday, the House Majority brought forth its capital investment bonding proposal aimed at fixing our state infrastructure and creating jobs. Regrettably, the bill was crafted in such an unbalanced, partisan manner that it had left out projects in the districts of many minority party legislators, although there were proposals more highly prioritized by agencies such as MnDOT and MnSCU. The bill fell short of the 3/5th vote constitutionally required for passage. Now, a House/Senate conference committee is, by working around the traditional process, attempting to hammer out an agreement on a bonding bill that can pass both chambers with a supermajority. I wish this process was more transparent and open to the public, but I hope a more substantial product will result from this.

Also, agreements are yet to be reached on the budget surplus, including details of some targeted tax relief, and a transportation bill. Considering the focus that should have been given to these issues all session, it’s deeply disappointing that as we’re approaching the eleventh hour, little progress has been made.

Please follow the nonpartisan resources provided by House Public Information Services over the weekend to stay up to date as far as process on these and other outstanding topics.

EMS Week

This week is EMS Week, authorized by President Ford in 1974, to celebrate Emergency Medical Service practitioners and the important work they do in our communities. Back then, EMS was a new profession, and EMS practitioners had only just started to be recognized as a critical component of emergency medicine and the public health safety net. Now we count on them to be a vital function of our health care system, responding to a wide variety of medical emergencies with care and compassion. Many law enforcement personnel and firefighters in our community also serve as paramedics.

The theme for EMS Week this year is “Called to Care,” a timely reminder of the dedication and commitment EMS personnel provide to their patients. EMS practitioners care for folks in some of the most vulnerable situations and are entrusted with so much responsibility. I thank the men and women of our EMS community for answering this call to service.

Older Americans Month

The month of May is the time of the year when we celebrate Older Americans Month. The 2016 OAM theme is “Blaze a Trail” and the Administration for Community Living is working to raise awareness about important issues facing older adults. From 69-year-old NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Jr. to 84-year-old actress Rita Moreno to 83-year-old Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who took her seat as a Supreme Court Justice at age 60, older adults are blazing trails in all aspects of American life.

Older Americans continue to inspire, lead, and provide positive impacts on people of all ages. As a legislator, I’m committed to enacting policies which give older adults opportunities to be healthy, active, thriving members of our community and promote inclusion and wellness for them. While older citizens make tremendous contributions to our communities, they also face some challenges. These issues include transportation, health care, nutrition, and financial security. As we craft and pass legislation, we must keep all of these in mind.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your thoughts on the important issues we are discussing, and hopefully acting upon in the next couple of days. Feel free to call or email me anytime.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Ward

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn