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Legislative Update - February 17, 2017
We are moving into our second month at the state legislature, and the pace is picking up quickly. Here are some brief updates that you might find useful.
ENERGY AT OUR TOWN HALL
Last month, we held a town hall meeting in Senate District 46, and the energy was palpable.
Something is in the water. I have a feeling we are on the verge of a powerful movement that will restore progressive values to our government at all levels. I look forward to working with all of you in the future to keep up this fight.
House Republicans have introduced legislation to mandate that politicians draw their own legislative districts.
The intent of Rep. Sarah Anderson's bill (HF 314
) is transparent: Republicans are hoping they can win the governor's race next year, maintain control of the House and Senate, and then ram through a nakedly partisan legislative map that will lock in GOP legislative majorities for the next decade.
Voters should pick their representatives - not the other way around. This legislation would undermine our democratic ideals and allow Republicans to rig the system to maintain power even if the majority of voters disagree with them.
My colleague, Rep. Jennifer Schultz, has an alternative in HF 246
: Let's establish a nonpartisan commission to draw the districts for us. That way, politicians looking out for their own interests will not have the power to create safe districts for themselves. Other states like Arizona and California have done exactly that, and I think we should join them.
UPDATE ON PREEMPTION
I've been closely tracking HF 600
, which would take away paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage from thousands of Minnesotans.
So far, the bill has passed out of one committee in the House and another in the Senate. Eventually, it will likely come to a full House vote.
Minnesotans aren't asking for lower wages and blocked access to paid sick time. Rather, it is big corporations and special interests lobbying for this change. Let's continue to show up and speak out.
VOUCHERS IN MINNESOTA
House Republicans are quietly trying to undermine public schools in Minnesota by introducing two voucher-style education bills, HF 386
and HF 387
I care deeply about providing quality public school education to all of our students, and I worry that this tactic of diverting taxpayer dollars to private schools will undermine the strong education system we have worked so hard to build. I will be resisting this change.
HOPE FOR ENDING ALZHEIMER'S
This week, I was so happy to meet with young champions from the Alzheimer's Association. My family has been personally impacted by the condition, and it gives me hope for the future to see young people advocating for the cause.
Save the date for two community conversations:
St. Louis Park City Hall (Community Room)
Tuesday, March 14th
6 pm to 7:30 pm
Hennepin County Library - Golden Valley
Sunday, April 9th
12:30 pm to 2 pm
There are many, many proposals flying around at the state legislature this session. I will do my best to highlight the ones I think deserve the most attention.
See you soon.
Rep. Peggy Flanagan