We’ve now completed the fourth week of the legislative session, with just ten weeks left. In these opening weeks, the House passed bills to help make insulin affordable and to protect voter privacy in the presidential primary election; see last week’s e-update for more information. Since then, there’s been much more action; check out a few more highlights below. And please plan to attend the next Chat with Dave on Sunday, March 22; again, details at the bottom of this message.
Historic Action on Gun Violence
Last week, the Minnesota House made history by passing the two gun safety measures that I’ve championed for years: my bill for criminal background checks and Rep. Ruth Richardson’s bill for extreme risk protection orders. You can watch my opening remarks here and my closing remarks here.
The Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate has already indicated that it will block these common-sense measures, but I hope that they will reconsider; it’s long past time that we take these steps to help keep guns out of the hands of people who have proven themselves to be dangerous. In the meantime, I’m so grateful to the many people who have worked so hard for so long on this – often following tragedies of their own. Here’s a picture with Speaker Hortman and Rep. Richardson right after the vote.
Paid Family & Medical Leave Passes the House
Yesterday, more history was made: The House passed Paid Family & Medical Leave! Everyone in our state should have time to take care of themselves and their loved ones. With paid leave, millions of Minnesotans who live paycheck-to-paycheck would no longer need to choose between work and taking care of a new baby, an aging parent, a sick child, or themselves. Paid Family & Medical Leave would also help small Minnesota businesses attract and retain employees. The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that does not provide for paid leave upon the birth of a child. Again, the Republican Senate has refused to consider this popular proposal. My colleagues and I will keep pushing for it.
House Education Symposium
I’ve spent the day today participating in “Bridging the Gap,” a symposium for all House members on racial disparities in education. I’ve facilitated several sessions in my role as chair of the House Early Childhood Committee. I’ll provide more details in future e-updates.
Many community members have asked me what our state government is doing to address the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory illness often referred to as the coronavirus. I want to assure you that our state is well prepared to respond to an outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is currently working with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals and clinics, and the Legislature. More specifics about steps MDH is taking are available here.
There are a few basic precautions we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The best guidance is to take the same precautions you’d use to avoid colds and flu:
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand.
- Stay home when sick.
Obtaining a REAL ID
Starting on October 1, Minnesotans will need a REAL ID to board a plane or enter certain federal buildings. REAL ID applications take several weeks to process, so now is the time to obtain one if you haven’t done so already. Here’s what you need to bring to the DMV when applying:
- One document providing proof of identity and date of birth. This can be an unexpired passport, a certified copy of a birth certificate, or a certified certificate of citizenship. You may also need a certified marriage certificate if your name is different than on your birth certificate.
- Proof of a Social Security number. This can be your Social Security card, a federal W2, or a paystub with your name, address, and Social Security number.
- Two documents providing proof of Minnesota residency. This can be many documents, but the most commonly used ones are an unexpired driver’s license, a credit card or bank account statement from the last 90 days, or a federal or state income tax return from the most recent filing year. Utility bills will not be accepted if more than one name is on the bill.
More information about REAL ID, including a complete breakdown of acceptable documents to bring when applying, is available here.
Chat with Dave – Sunday, March 22
Please save the date of Sunday, March 22 for the next Chat with Dave, an informal conversation with neighbors. We’ll meet from 1:00pm to 3:00pm in the Village View Room at Highland Park Community Center, located right on the A Line. You can RSVP here or just show up. Hope to see you there!
Keep in Touch
Please encourage friends, neighbors, or co-workers to subscribe to this newsletter; they can do so here. And please follow me on Facebook here. I’m grateful for the honor of serving you and our community.
State Representative, District 64B
439 State Office Building
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