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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL)

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Legislative Update - February 28, 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Happy last day of the snowiest February on record. I’m looking forward to warmer temperatures and moving closer to passing legislation we’ve been working on at the Capitol.
Transportation Field Hearing 
On Wednesday the Transportation Committee held a field hearing at North High School, my parents’ alma mater. We had a conversation with community members focused on Public Transit, an issue that’s important across the state, and one that members from both sides of the aisle can agree on. We heard testimony on two bills, one to prioritize bus upgrades in areas with poor air quality, and another that would provide free public transportation on Election Day. Both of these bills would provide greater accessibility to Minnesotans, as well as promoting public health and easier participation in our elections. You can watch the whole hearing here.
The field hearings are part of an initiative to give constituents more access to their legislators and the things happening in the State Government. We held a hearing in St. Cloud last week, and will be in Blaine tomorrow.

Members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America testifying in the transportation committee’s field hearing at Minneapolis North High School

 Health Care
Last week I signed on to co-sponsor legislation that would deliver more affordable and more comprehensive healthcare, for all Minnesotans. At the forefront of this is Universal Health Care. A simple medical procedure should not send someone into bankruptcy. In the wealthiest nation in the world, everyone should be able to go to the doctor and afford medications they rely on. We can afford universal health care and in fact, we can’t afford to continue our current system – a new report shows that health costs could double by 2026.  

ICYMI: Election Security

Minnesota is increasingly more likely to see attacks on our election systems, and my bill (H.F.14)would unlock funding to support state efforts in securing election infrastructure against cyber threats. Last week the House voted to appropriate $6.6 million in federal funds under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). Every state in the country has already begun using the funding. However, the bill hasn't been approved in it's current form by the Senate, and Republican leadership has slow-walked this election security measure. They have refused to appropriate the full amount of the money. Today they instead passed a much smaller $1.5 million package, which would leave the rest of the money untouched, and unusable.

The Star Tribune wrote an editorial calling for the legislation, and it was also covered by MPR Pioneer Press,and MinnPost.

  Thank you for continuing to stay involved. Please reach out if you have any questions, comments or ideas.
Michael Nelson
Representative, District 40A