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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: Gina Vega 651-296-5526

Posted: 2018-04-20
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- April 20, 2018


Dear Neighbors,

Hopefully it will feel like spring by the time the legislature adjourns on May 21st! It’s been a busy time at the Capitol with less than five weeks remaining. Today at midnight is the third and final deadline for most finance bills to pass out of committees. Here’s an update from Saint Paul:

Governor Dayton Urges Action

Last week, Governor Dayton sent a letter to legislative leaders outlining the need for a smooth process to end the session. He asked that items with bipartisan agreement--protecting vulnerable seniors, addressing the opioid crisis, making schools safer, and shoring up state pensions--be passed now. He also stressed that he would not accept shifts, gimmicks, cuts, or false financial assumptions that would undo the hard work done by DFLers to return fiscal stability to Minnesota after years of deficits under the previous administration.  

Minnesotans expect action to keep students and seniors safe, stop the opioid crisis, and make sure retirement is secure for pensioners. There is no excuse for holding these important bills back; Minnesotans deserve swift action on these issues, not delays.

House Majority Budget Blueprint Shortchanges Education

With one week before finance committee deadlines,legislative majorities announced their supplemental budget targets. Instead of investing in the things Minnesotans value, like expanding quality early childhood education and making college more affordable, they’ve indicated plans to continue prioritizing tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

This is in stark contrast to Governor Dayton’s supplemental budget proposal, which rolls back tax giveaways for corporations and the wealthy to fund tax cuts for Minnesota families and important investments in areas such as education and infrastructure. I’ve heard from you and will continue to ensure the things our community values are a priority at the Capitol.

Moms Demand Action Day

On Wednesday, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America held a rally in the Capitol Rotunda to show that there’s still continued pressure to pass common sense gun laws in Minnesota. In fact, a recent poll conducted by Survey USA shows that  89% of gun owners favor background checks for all gun purchases. It was great to see community members show their support.

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I’m committed to delivering on common sense gun safety measures that will make our families and communities safer. There’s still time to act before session ends. Call Speaker Daudt’s office and let him know why it’s important to have background checks and protective orders: 651-296-5364 or email him at rep.kurt.daudt@house.mn.

Page Visit

Over the last 40 years, the High School Page Program has been dedicated to providing participants with hands-on access to our state government in action. Throughout the course of their week in Saint Paul, High School Page Program participants are exposed to a wide variety of experiences, designed to provide them with a deep understanding of our state government. You can learn more about the program here.

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I was honored to meet Jason Cimponer of Oakdale who was participating from Tartan High School and was just elected president of the student council. Jason expressed deep appreciation for the hands-on experience with government in action. Thank you for your participation and service, Jason!

April 22 is Earth Day

Protecting our environment is a proud value we share; Minnesota’s natural resources are far too precious to ignore or neglect.

The Pollinator Friendly Alliance in particular protects pollinators through habitat restoration, education and awareness, civic stewardship, pesticide reduction, and advocacy. They do incredible work; you can learn about how to get involved here.

National Week of Conversation: April 20-28

The National Week of Conversation (NWOC) is part of the nation-wide effort to #ListenFirst and mend America one conversation at a time. Take a minute and call a friend who has different views than you and invite them out for coffee and a conversation during NWOC about what we can do to improve the tone in 2018.  

Explore these questions together with your conversation partner and other resources as well.

Help us make NWOC highly visible by inviting friends, family and networks to participate and spreading the word through social media using hashtags #NWOC, #ReviveCivility, and #ListenFirst.

Minnesota Values Project Town Hall

Thank you to all who expressed interest in participating in the MVP town hall meeting last week. Unfortunately, the spring snow storm prevented us from gathering and we are working on rescheduling for a new date. Please stay tuned for this information.

Please continue to reach out with any questions, comments or feedback. I appreciate your input on the important issues facing our state and community.

Sincerely,

JoAnn Ward

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