Session has only just begun but we have already passed bills on the House floor This week’s email includes updates about bills I’m authoring and bills passed on the House floor.
If you want to share a question, comment, or idea about the issues highlighted in today’s email, or any cause you’re working on, you can find my full contact information online at www.house.mn/54A. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here.
I'm honored to serve you at the Minnesota Capitol, and will continue sharing news and updates throughout the 2020 session.
An update on my bills
My bill to upgrade and expand the Ramsey/Washington Recycling & Energy facility (House File 3175) received a public hearing in the House Capital Investment Division. I recently participated in a site tour with local officials, my legislative colleagues, and Governor Walz. Every day, this facility processes enough trash to cover a football field six feet deep. Improvements mean they can recover more recyclable materials from our trash and could collect organic waste for composting.
On Friday, March 28, my bill requiring public school districts to conduct radon testing (House File 244) received a public hearing in the Education Policy Committee. The schools in our district have tested and found no problems, but there are many schools in areas with high radon levels that have not tested for radon, which is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among non-smokers. KARE11 covered this bill when it was introduced last year, click here for the story.
My bill to set standards for labeling flushable wipes (House File 3181) has been moving through committees, too. We heard from city wastewater managers about the problems caused by disposable wipes that are mistakenly flushed instead of properly disposed of in the trash and we saw photos of the clogs they have removed. These products cause clogs in sewer pipes and pumps, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair costs, and can also cause sewer backups into homes. We shouldn’t flush anything that isn’t labeled as flushable, and when it is labeled as flushable, it better actually break down.
Paid Family and Medical Leave passed on the House floor
On Thursday, March 5, the Minnesota House voted to give everyone access to Paid Family and Medical Leave. The House approved this bill last year, but it did not advance in the Republican-controlled Senate.
It’s important to let Minnesotans know where we stand: I believe no one should have to choose between earning a paycheck and taking care of themselves or a family member, whether it’s after the birth of a new baby, helping an aging parent with physical disabilities, or an unexpected accident that could mean bankruptcy for Minnesotans who live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Before I had the honor of representing you in the Legislature, I represented my colleagues as a leader within the MN Association of Professional Employees (MAPE). We negotiated for paid family leave for state employees a few years ago, and I will continue to fight for all Minnesotans to have access to paid family and medical leave. This is smart economic policy and makes us a better society. While it is again unlikely to be heard in the Senate, I am proud that I voted for a plan that affords us all the ability to care for our families and ourselves when the need arises.