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

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Update: Youth vaping, open enrollment, and robo-calls

Friday, November 8, 2019
Rep. Nelson


It's hard to believe it's already November - I hope you're fully adjusted to the time change. 

Remember that there are resources available if you, family or friends are struggling with the heating bill. Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule (CWR) helps protect Minnesotans from having their heat shut off between October 15 and April 15. You can find more information about it here

Youth Vaping

We're only beginning to understand the dangers of vaping, but it's clearly not the cleaner, safer quit-smoking device we thought it was. Athletes are having trouble breathing during workouts, students are having trouble concentrating, and educators are spending time during class monitoring for kids sneaking hits of nicotine.

Last week, my House DFL colleagues announced a comprehensive plan to combat Big Tobacco's youth targeting.

Here are some highlights of the plan:

  • By raising the legal age to purchase tobacco age to 21, we will limit youth targeting.
  • We will reduce youth access by stopping all internet sales of tobacco, e-cigarette, and vaping products.
  • By prohibiting sales of all flavored tobacco products in our state, we will reduce the appeal of tobacco products for vulnerable populations.
  • We will support prevention efforts with a dedicated office to combat the immense pressure of the tobacco industry with effective counter-marketing.
  • Finally, we will fight to ensure that every Minnesotan has access to quit-smoking resources to help them break free from addiction. We’ll promote the state’s quitting program and remove barriers that prevent Medicaid patients and others from accessing quit-smoking medications and therapy.

Youth nicotine addiction isn’t just affecting families – it is touching health clinics, schools, and communities in every corner of Minnesota. This is about protecting our kids, and it’s time to take bold action to hold Big Tobacco accountable.


Open Enrollment - Happening Now! 

Open enrollment (which ends on Dec. 23) is your chance to change health care plans or enroll in a new plan that's best for you and your family. The MNsure marketplace is the only place where you can qualify for financial help in the form of monthly tax credits. Go to to compare plans and get covered! 



A Plan for Robo Calls 

Robo-calls are disruptive and cause people to not want to pick up the phone when it rings. In fact, Minnesotans on average have received more than 58 robo-calls so far this year. My colleagues introduced a plan to crack down on the calls to protect Minnesotans from the predatory scams, and I look forward to supporting the bill during the 2020 legislative session. You can read more about the plan from MPR here or watch the WCCO clip here.

Let me know if you have any questions or feedback! I always enjoy hearing from you. 


Rep. Michael Nelson