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Legislative Update - October 2, 2019

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Rep. Brand

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you all had an enjoyable summer, because fall weather is fully here! I was grateful to be back in our community with friends and family after my first legislative session as your state representative. This summer saw the implementation of many of the laws we passed at the State Capitol this year, and this fall I look forward to the upcoming events that will help guide our work when the Legislature returns in February.


Mini Session
This week, the Minnesota House of Representatives will be on the road! From October 2-4, we’ll be holding a historic mini-session in Winona and the surrounding communities. Southeastern Minnesota will host legislators as a number of committee hearings, roundtable discussions, and informative tours will take place in Winona, Austin, and Rochester.

Mini-Session Logo

Though the Minnesota House doesn’t officially reconvene for several months, the mini-session offers a chance for my colleagues and I to see our work through a different lens outside of St. Paul. The last mini-session was in 1997 in Willmar, and we’re hoping our work this year restarts the tradition of holding offsite hearings as part of our efforts to make the Minnesota House more responsive and accessible. You can find an agenda of events here, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.


LCCMR Survey

The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) is seeking input for a strategic plan that will guide Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENRTF) investments for the next six years. I encourage you to take our short, anonymous survey and share it with anyone who might be interested in participating! The survey will be open until Monday, October 28.


Changing Historic Fort Snelling

Another way to have your voice heard is through the statewide conversation on possibly changing the name of Historic Fort Snelling. As the site undergoes construction to revitalize the fort, a survey and public meetings are providing the opportunity for the Minnesota public to weigh in on the different ways the name of Historic Fort Snelling could be updated to reflect the history and experiences of multiple cultures and peoples. You can find more information on the public input process on the Minnesota Historical Society’s webpage here.


Climate Action Caucus
Climate change is one of the top issues that I hear about from fellow community members. People from across the state are organizing in their communities and urging legislators to take action, and young people are particularly dedicated to fighting climate change. Last month, thousands of Minnesota students marched to address climate change as part of the worldwide Youth Climate Strike, including in our community - I met with over 400 college and high school students in St. Peter alone!

Climate Action Caucus Logo

My colleagues and I are standing in solidarity with the students, and to show our support, we’ve formed a new Climate Action Caucus. This dedicated group of legislators, which I’m proud to be a part of, will work with Minnesotans on a bold, comprehensive plan to fight climate change and create a future in which we all thrive. Please stay tuned for updates.


Home Health Assistance

Our neighbor in Mankato, Rep. Jack Considine, wrote a very thoughtful and important op-ed in the Star Tribune last month, bringing attention to Minnesota’s home care workers. Home health aides and personal care attendants serve our most vulnerable citizens, but their wages make it difficult for them to support themselves. You can read Rep. Considine’s op-ed here.


Be Heard on Cannabis

We’re inviting Minnesotans to join the conversation about how we will safely and responsibly create a comprehensive framework the most thoughtful adult-use cannabis laws in the country. 

Legalizing cannabis for responsible adult use will expand access and affordability for people who rely on it to treat PTSD or chronic pain, allow law enforcement to focus their resources on more dangerous crimes, and expand personal freedom for Minnesotans, including the thousands of minor offenders who have been swept up in our criminal justice system.

Be Heard on Cannabis Logo

We want to hear what Minnesotans think, which is why we launched statewide Community Conversations on Cannabis to hear from people in every corner of our state. You can sign up for updates, take the Speaker’s cannabis survey, and find a community conversation near you at a new website here. Stay tuned for updates on Mankato’s event.


Keep In Touch
The Minnesota Legislature is currently adjourned until February 2020, meaning until then I’ll be in the district working with folks to find solutions to the issues facing our community and our state. Please feel free to contact me at (651) 296-8634, or at if you ever need anything. I look forward to hearing from you.

Your partner in Saint Paul,

Jeff Brand
State Representative, District 19A

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