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State Representative Peggy Flanagan

309 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7026

For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879

Posted: 2018-04-30
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update - April 30, 2018


Dear Neighbors,
 
We have just about three weeks left in the 2018 legislative session. Budget bills are starting to be considered on the House floor, and the majority’s package of tax legislation is up today. We’re also hopeful a public infrastructure bonding bill can see the light of day soon, too. Here’s an update from the State Capitol.
 
Education Bill
 
Last week the Republican majority brought their combined E-12 and Higher Education omnibus bill to the floor. I know our communities value our world-class schools, and we have a responsibility to make sure all students have the opportunity to succeed. I opposed this bill because it fell significantly short of delivering on this value. After next year, voluntary pre-K programs are in jeopardy of disappearing, and the bill failed to continue these investments for our youngest learners. There are four-year-olds taking advantage of this important opportunity now, but unfortunately, their younger siblings may not have this available to them. The bill also underfunds public colleges and universities which will certainly result in tuition increases, program cuts, and diminished quality. Student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt in the United States, and it’s wrong young people and their families have to take on such unsustainable debt loads to acquire a degree.

The bill didn’t address school districts’ pressing special education funding needs, and strings were attached to funding for Bureau of Indian Education schools, threatening our principles of sovereignty. Looking ahead, I’ll keep working to ensure all kids can have a better future through education.

Wild Rice Protections

Last week, the House passed a bill to nullify Minnesota’s wild rice sulfate standard, putting at risk the clean water in which this cherished resource can grow. This was a deeply disappointing move which disregards the cultural importance wild rice has to Native people. I shared my thoughts on the bill on the House floor.

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In light of this legislation and other administrative law rulings, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced Thursday they would stop the rulemaking process for their new proposed sulfate standards. We need a strong, science-based standard protecting this resource. I’m committed to working with other lawmakers and the relevant agencies to ensure wild rice can flourish for future generations.

Gun Violence Prevention

While the Republican leadership continues to hold back votes on bills to enact common-sense gun safety measures, Minnesotans continue to speak out. Additionally, I was so proud of my colleague, Rep. Erin Maye Quade of Apple Valley, who held a sit-in inside the House Chamber for a full 24 hours this week.

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During this time, she shared stories of those individuals who lost their lives to gun violence. While this was going on, outside on the Capitol steps members of Protect Minnesota held a rally to make their voices heard. I’m not giving up this effort to change our laws so we can save lives, and I hope other Minnesotans don’t either.
 
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Please keep in touch with your input. Have a great week.

Peggy



Rep. Peggy Flanagan

309 State Office Building

100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

Phone: 651-296-7026
E-mail: rep.peggy.flanagan@house.mn
Legislative Assistant: Akolade Gbadamosi, 651-296-4279


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