For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879
I hope you are enjoying our wonderful summer weather with your friends and family. I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on some of my activities recently. Last week, I attended the Summit on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders hosted by Women in Government, a nonpartisan organization of women state legislators providing networking, educational, and leadership opportunities.
At this policy summit, we had the opportunity to learn about potential solutions to, as well as new ways to look at, substance use disorders. We heard from William Moyers – vice president of public affairs at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and oldest son of journalist Bill Moyers – about his own struggle with addiction and emerging ways to approach this epidemic. We also had eye-opening discussions about the inadequacy of mental health support available in our communities and especially the lack of these services in our criminal justice system.
As policymakers, we have some unique challenges to face regarding these topics. First, we must end stigma surrounding substance use disorders as well as mental health difficulties. People need to know it’s okay to ask for help, and that no one is immune from addiction. Also, we have significant work left in order to reach parity for mental health and substance use as they compare to physical health. Lastly, the approach to the criminal justice system as it relates to these conditions needs to change. Too many citizens are incarcerated who should really be receiving treatment, and there are steps we can take to improve outcomes for these individuals.
After this summit, Women in Government also held their annual Midwestern Regional Conference in Bloomington, which I also attended. We had the opportunity to hear presentations about important topics such as criminal justice, growing our workforce, and agriculture, to name a few.
Today, July 1, many new laws go into effect. Each bill passed by the Legislature is given an “effective date;” sometimes the day the bill is signed into law immediately, sometimes July 1, sometimes August 1, and sometimes an arbitrary date based on provisions contained within the bill.
With July 1 being the start of the new fiscal year, bills containing appropriations go into effect today. Minnesota House Public Information Services has put together a comprehensive list of this legislation, which I invite you to check out here.
Happy 4th of July
I hope you have a wonderful and safe Independence Day Holiday. The Eagan July 4th Funfest kicks off on Saturday with many wonderful events, the details of which you can learn about here. I look forward to this exciting community celebration every year, and I hope to see you around the festival grounds or at the parade.
Please stay in touch with your input on any issue important to you. Feel free to call me at the Capitol at 651-296-3533 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org any time.
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