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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL)

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Legislative Update - July 8, 2022

Friday, July 8, 2022

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you all had a great 4th of July and are able to get out and enjoy our beautiful state this summer and all our environment has to offer!

First off, you may be aware of recent closures of the I-494/Wakota Bridge. If not, here are the specific closure dates:

  • Lane Closures. Tue, July 5 through Thu, July 28
    • WB I-494 is reduced to two lanes between Maxwell Ave. in Newport and Hardman Ave. in South St. Paul
  • Ramp closures. Tue, July 5 through Fri, July 15
    • The ramp from WB I-494 to Hardman Ave. is closed. Detour: Exit at Concord St.
  • Tue, July 5 through Thu, July 28. The ramp from Maxwell Ave. to WB I-494 is closed.
    • Detour: Maxwell Ave., Glen Rd., NB Hwy 61 to WB I-494
  • Trail closures. Wed, July 6 through Thu, July 7
    • The WB I-494 trail on the Wakota Bridge is closed

For more information, visit this site.

Native wildflowers are in full bloom which is great news for our pollinators. We each have to do our best to ensure pollinators are able to thrive this summer. In particular, don’t spray insecticides on pollinator habitats. Here is an MN Department of Agriculture tweet showing where endangered pollinators are located and how you can learn more about protecting them.


Here is a photo I took of a Brown Belted Bumblebee, who while not endangered, is a critical pollinator for our state. And I should note this thistle is an invasive species.

New Laws Take Effect Today

Several laws we passed this session went into effect July 1, and you can find a comprehensive list here. Perhaps the most prominent is a law which will allow Minnesotans to purchase edibles and beverages containing 5mg of THC derived from hemp. Before this legislation was signed into law, the state of Minnesota had little to no regulatory framework. Products targeting youth quickly proliferated across the state, often with colorful advertising/packaging and candy-like products with non-childproofed containers. The new law adds necessary guardrails to protect kids, while allowing adults over 21 to purchase products with low levels of THC.

I believe that we need to fully regulate recreational use of THC developed from hemp and cannabis so we can end the black market economy, regulate these products safely, and allow Minnesotans to purchase the products they want. This law is an important step in that direction and I will continue to advocate for more comprehensive laws in the future.

Upcoming Events and Activities and Other Important Info

  • You can read my full statement on the Supreme Court’s recent decision regarding Roe vs. Wade here.
  • Here is an important definition of Disadvantaged Communities from the EPA when it comes to safe drinking water systems. I and other legislators will use this to ensure that communities with impaired waters are given the aid they deserve. This will be a great tool for us to implement environmental justice practices for communities most hurt by

Reminder: Frontline Workers Can Apply for Bonus Pay
Bonus payments are available for frontline workers who kept our state running during the darkest days of the pandemic. Hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who faced elevated risks of exposure to COVID-19 are eligible, including health care workers, first responders, child care providers, food service workers, and retail workers. You can view eligibility information and apply for bonus pay at Applications will be accepted until Friday, July 22.  

Stay in Touch 

If you have any questions or feedback for me, please feel free to email me at or call (651) 296-6828. I always appreciate hearing from constituents!  


Rick Hansen State Representative