Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Things have been quiet around the Capitol in the weeks since the special session, but I wanted to give an update on new laws hitting the books on July 1.
There are quite a few new laws going into effect July 1. Some of the highlights include:
- Wage Theft: The Omnibus Jobs bill included compromise language on wage theft, appropriating over $2 million for the Department of Labor and Industry to start a Wage Theft Prevention Initiative, as well as making wage theft a felony and punishing employers for retaliating against employees who report wage theft
- DAIRI Program: We appropriated $3 million to the Department of Agriculture to provide financial assistance to dairy farmers who meet certain eligibility requirements through the Dairy Assistance, Investment, and Relief Initiative (DAIRI)
- Voluntary Pre-K Funding: In the Education Omnibus Bill, we appropriated almost $47 million to maintain 4,000 voluntary prekindergarten slots that were set to expire
- Safe Schools Funding: Also in the Education Omnibus Bill, we appropriated $30 million for safe schools grants, provided we have a sufficient budget surplus in the February Budget Forecast
- Safeguarding Our Elections System: We authorized the Secretary of State to accept nearly $6.6 million in federal Help America Vote Act funds to assist in securing our elections system, as well as providing an additional $2 million for election equipment grants
- Opioid Addiction Response: Effective July 1, we’ve established an Opioid Advisory Council, provided funding for county and tribal social service agencies to provide child protection services for families affected by addiction, and increased funding for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for personnel and supplies focused on drug interdiction and trafficking, as well as limiting opiate prescriptions for acute pain, with some exceptions
- Rare Disease Council: The Legislature requested that the University of Minnesota establish a Rare Diseases Advisory Council that will provide recommendations on research, diagnosis, treatment, and education on diseases that affect less than 200,000 in the U.S.
- Marital Rape Exception Repealed: We worked hard this year to remove the “voluntary relationship defense” from law, which will allow individuals accused of committing sexual crimes against a spouse or long-standing partner to be prosecuted
- MNLARS Replacement: Through the Omnibus Transportation bill, we appropriated money to replace the MNLARS program, as well as $13 million to reimburse deputy registrars who were hit especially hard by the disastrous rollout of MNLARS
Happy Independence Day!
I want to wish you all a happy Independence Day, and I’d encourage everyone to take a moment to reflect on the meaning of the holiday. Remember what our independence means, and reflect on how blessed we are to live in this great nation.
I’d encourage you all to visit the City of Coon Rapids 4th of July community events, especially the parade on Tuesday, July 2nd! I’ll be there, and I’d love it if folks would come say hi! Here is the link to the complete schedule of events: https://www.coonrapidsmn.gov/DocumentCenter/View/8638/2019-4th-of-July-Event-and-Schedule-Details
Have a fun and safe Independence Day weekend!
Please Contact Me
Even though we’re out of session, I encourage you to please contact me with any questions or input by phone at 651-296-4231 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.