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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lyndon Carlson, Sr. (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 21, 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019
 

Dear Neighbors,
 
We’ve reached the halfway point for this year’s legislative session, and we’re starting to pass important pieces of legislation on the House floor every week. I’d like to take a moment to update you on some of those bills, constituents I’ve met with, and a Town Hall we have coming up.
 
 
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
 
It’s about time. The Minnesota House recently made the first step in the process of amending Minnesota’s Constitution to include the ERA. The ERA has a long history with Minnesota and with our country, and the debate surrounding it is one I’ve participated in before. The ERA would establish constitutional gender equality under the law, and since it’s a constitutional amendment, all that’s needed now is approval from the Minnesota Senate before the amendment appears on your 2020 ballot. I strongly believe that assumed equality isn’t enough, and I was proud to vote for this legislation.
 
You can watch my remarks on the bill in the video below.

Rep. Lyndon Carlson's remarks on the ERA bill. 

Hands-Free Cell Phone Driving
 
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety has reported that distracted driving contributed to one in five automobile crashes from 2013-2017. Minnesotans deserve to be safe on our roads, which is why the Minnesota House passed legislation this week that would require drivers to put their phones in a hands-free mode when using them while driving. Passing this bill was the right thing to do, we heard from too many families who lost loved ones to distracted driving.
 
Sixteen other states and the District of Columbia have similar laws. Current state law bans emailing, texting, and using a web browser while driving. The hands-free cell phone bill applies the same enforcement and penalties to drivers who do not use their cell phone in a hands-free mode. There are exceptions for emergencies and one-touch activation functions.
 
You can read more about this legislation here.
 
 
Holding Big Pharma Accountable
 
Opioid manufacturers have collected billions in profits as Minnesotans have suffered during this opioid crisis. In 2017, we lost over 400 Minnesotans to opioid overdoses, and more than 2,000 visits to the emergency room were related to opioid-involved overdoses that same year. These are numbers that have been steadily increasing since 2010. This is unacceptable, which is why I voted for legislation on the House floor that will require opioid manufacturers to do their part in tackling this issue. This bill passed in the House, and I hope my colleagues in the Senate do the same.
 
You can read more about the opioid crisis and our efforts to solve it here.
 
 
Constituent Visits
 
Thank you to representatives from the YMCA and ClearWay Minnesota who stopped by to visit. Both groups are great advocates for a healthier Minnesota. As schedules get hectic this time of year, I always look forward to and prioritize taking time to sit down and discuss legislation with constituents.
 

 
Town Hall
 
We’ll be holding a Town Hall for District 45 this Saturday. I’ll be joined by Sen. Ann Rest and Rep. Mike Freiberg at the Crystal Community Center from 9:30-11am, and I hope to see you there.
 
What: District 45 Town Hall
Who: Rep. Freiberg, Sen. Rest, Rep. Carlson
When: Saturday, March 23, 9:30-11am
Where: Crystal Community Center
             4800 Douglas Dr N
             Minneapolis, MN 55429
 
If you’re unable to make it this weekend, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions you might have about our work at the State Capitol. You can always contact me at rep.lyndon.carlson@house.mn or (651) 296-4255.
 
Sincerely,
 
Lyndon Carlson
State Representative
 
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