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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 5, 2021

Friday, March 05, 2021

Rep. Lee

Dear Neighbors,

Amidst the rubble of a Minneapolis furniture store, I joined my DFL colleagues in the Minnesota House and Senate to call on GOP legislators to come to the table and help deliver sorely-needed assistance to the communities still recovering from last summer’s civil unrest - communities like ours. Whether it’s West Broadway, Lake Street, or University Avenue, small businesses in Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods are still picking up the literal pieces almost one year later.

Fue Lee

My colleagues and I highlighted proposals to help businesses rebuild and recover, many of which are owned by Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. One of the proposals is my bill to sell $300 million in redevelopment bonds to help repair the physical infrastructure of these businesses, which I highlighted a few weeks ago, and the other proposal was an updated version of last summer’s PROMISE Act.

The Providing Resources, Opportunity and Maximizing Investments in Striving Entrepreneurs (PROMISE) Act, which we first approved on June 19, 2020 in the House, provides assistance for impacted community members, nonprofits, and business owners. The proposal includes $167 million in direct assistance to small businesses as well as $125 million to compensate individuals and businesses for uninsured property loss. The legislation would also give local units of government flexibility and tools to prevent gentrification, establish a Metropolitan Area Redevelopment Corporation to create a long-term plan for equity-driven redevelopment and transformation, and create a Civil Unrest Investigatory Commission to conduct a neutral investigation into the government’s response to the unrest.

Minnesotans help one another, regardless of zip code. When a river floods a small town or a tornado destroys rural infrastructure, we step up and help. Our communities in the Twin Cities shouldn’t be treated any different. Both bills passed out of the House Workforce and Business Development Finance and Policy Committee today. A special thanks to all the testifiers that helped make that possible. 

 


 

Conversations with Al McFarlane

This week, I had the opportunity to sit down with Al McFarlane to discuss the issues important to our community and our goals in the Minnesota Legislature. You can tune in by clicking below.

convo



 

Trauma-Centered Approach to Gun Violence

Trauma is both a cause and an effect of gun violence. Legislation I’m authoring would invest $100,000 to establish a pilot program to reduce gun violence through community-based organizations that can provide high-quality, targeted services to people in need.

Research indicates that both early and direct exposure to violence is the best predictor of whether an individual would later engage in gun-related crimes, and that harsh penalties do not necessarily provide an effective deterrent. We need to follow the examples set by Project LIFE and the Minneapolis Group Violence Intervention initiative, which connect at-risk individuals to mental health services, job readiness programs, and employment opportunities.

 


 

Other bills from this week

HF 825 - This bill invests $1.1 million in College Possible to support their programs for helping low-income Minnesota students get into college and graduate. I look at this program, and the students it helps, and I can’t help but think of me and my siblings. College Possible helped my family break down several barriers to pursuing higher education, namely working through the college application process and finding resources to help with cost. College Possible achieves outstanding results as a leader in the field of college access and success and their outcomes held steady, and even increased during the last year, which we all know was a tough one for students.

 

HF938 - This is a bill to address childhood blood lead poisoning in Minnesota. In my bill, the Commissioner of Health is directed to establish goals to reduce blood lead levels in children. I am bringing this bill forward because the burden of lead is disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous, and children of color and children living in poverty. We desperately need to lower the threshold for intervention in order to protect the health of these children. 

 

HF313 - This legislation aims to establish a greater awareness of Alzheimer’s and its impact on Minnesotans. Alzheimer’s is a terrible disease that robs us of a precious commodity - time with our loved ones, and the data shows that our Black, Indigenous, and communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by its effects. Promoting early detection allows more families of all backgrounds the time they need to plan with their loved ones and take advantage of the growing number of resources for those impacted by this disease.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with a loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s, the Minnesota Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is an incredible resource. 

 

If You have any questions about these bills or other legislation I’m working on, please feel free to reach out. I appreciate hearing from you.

Sincerely, 

 

Fue Lee

State Representative