Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative Update - March 2, 2020

Monday, March 2, 2020

Rep. Persell

Dear neighbors, 

I kept busy during my first weeks back at the State Capitol. I met with community members, helped pass the first bills off the House floor, and introduced some new legislation. 

Persell 3.2 (1)

I recently met with Matthew and Cody, two students from Northwest Technical College. It’s great to see folks who’ve made the long trip down from northern Minnesota.

Persell 3.2 (2)

The House Veterans Committee met with members of the Student Veterans Association of Minnesota.

Making Insulin Accessible and Affordable

The cost of insulin has tripled in the last 10 years, and it’s forced thousands of Minnesotans to ration their medication. The first bill we passed in the House this session, the Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act, is named after a young man who lost his life because he had to ration insulin after aging out of his parents’ health insurance at 26. Alec’s Bill would help Minnesotans get the insulin they need at a price they can afford in emergency situations and long term. I voted in favor of the bill.

If you’d like to read more about Alec’s Bill, a Bemidji Pioneer article about it is available here.

Protecting Voter Privacy

I also voted for a bill that would address voter privacy concerns that some community members have shared with me. The bill, which was recommended by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, increases voter privacy in presidential primaries. It places restrictions on data that’s collected during the primary, limits who that data is shared with, and allows voters to choose whether they’d like their information shared with a political party or parties. This change would take effect before data from the 2020 presidential primary is shared.

Addressing PFAS Contamination

I recently introduced a new bill that would create a task force to gather information about perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroakyl chemicals, known as PFAS, and develop a statewide response plan. As many of you already know, these “forever chemicals” are a major problem in Bemidji. Firefighting foam that contained PFAS got into our groundwater, forcing the city to stop using two wells and start digging another one.

Several Minnesota communities have similar issues, but there’s still a lot we don’t know about the extent and scope of PFAS in our environment. We need more information to get a handle on it. My bill creates a task force that would study places where these chemicals have been found and find ways to reduce PFAS contamination across the state. You can learn more about it here.

Stay in Touch

If you like to follow what’s happening at the Capitol, House Public Information Services is a great, nonpartisan resource. You can sign up to receive nonpartisan news here or ‘like’ and ‘follow’ their Facebook and Twitter pages for real-time updates. You can also follow my official Facebook page for updates from the Capitol. 

Please feel free to share your questions and feedback. I look forward to hearing from you.


John Persell
State Representative

Tagged Stories