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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Laurie Halverson (DFL)

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Legislative Update - April 5, 2019

Friday, April 05, 2019

Dear neighbors,

Governor Tim Walz gave his first State of the State address on Wednesday. In his speech, the governor shared the stories of inspiring Minnesotans and emphasized the importance of coming together to make sure everyone has the opportunity to succeed. I appreciated Governor Walz’s call for cooperation and compromise. These are values that I share, and I’m committed to working across the aisle to do the best for Minnesota.

A video of Governor Walz’s speech is available here.

Minnesota Values Budget

In the coming weeks, I’ll be working with my colleagues to create a state budget for the next two years. In the House, we announced the framework for the Minnesota Values Budget last week. The House budget reflects the values of Minnesotans and invests in world-class education, affordable health care, and safe and inclusive communities. The Senate is assembling their framework as well.  

Committees in both bodies are currently meeting to discuss and debate the budget omnibus bills – legislation that contains several individual bills – with funding recommendations. The House and Senate will meet to work through differences after the budget bills are passed in their respective bodies. 

Two of the committees that I serve on have introduced their budget bills. Stay tuned for updates from the Energy and Climate Finance and Policy Division and the Health and Human Services Finance Division. I’ll be working through the weekend in committee.

Protecting Minnesotans from Sexual Harassment

All Minnesotans deserve to live and work in an environment free of sexual harassment. For years, courts have held that behavior must be “severe or pervasive” to be defined as sexual harassment under the law. This is an unreasonably high threshold that prevents people who have experienced harassment from seeking or receiving justice. I was proud to cast my vote for a bill to eliminate the severe and pervasive standard (HF 10). This legislation to strengthen protections against sexual harassment was approved by the House with broad bipartisan support.

Making Prescription Drugs More Affordable

High drug costs have reached epidemic levels. 30 percent of Minnesotans report that they’ve not taken medicine as prescribed due to costs. Many people report skipping doses, cutting pills in half, substituting with over-the-counter drugs, or not filling a prescription. That’s why I’ve joined my colleagues to introduce a comprehensive plan to make prescription drugs more affordable. The plan is among the strongest efforts to address the rising cost of medicine in the country. If you’d like more information on the proposals that are part of this plan, check out a fact sheet here.

Minnesota Values Podcast

I was honored to be a guest on the Minnesota Values Podcast this week. I talked with co-hosts Jamie Long and Liz Olson about giving every Minnesotan access to paid family and medical leave (HF 5). Click here to listen and subscribe. 

Speaker Pro Tempore

This session I’ve been appointed Speaker pro tempore of the House. When the Speaker of the House isn’t able to preside over a floor session, I step in and fulfill her duties. It’s a privilege to facilitate discussion among my colleagues.

Tour the State Capitol

It’s such a privilege to get to serve in one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the country. I encourage you to take a tour of our State Capitol to learn more about Minnesota history and government. The Minnesota Historical Society offers several free tours of the building daily. If you’d like to arrange a tour for a group, please send an email to grouptickets@mnhs.org or call 651-259-3003. Please visit mnhs.org/fieldtriprequest or call 1-888-387-5008 to schedule a visit for K-12 students.

Eagan News: Sustainable Lawns and Water Conservation Class

Are you interested in learning about practices you can implement to benefit the environment and conserve resources? Sign up for a class on sustainable lawns and water conservation offered by the City of Eagan. Watershed Specialist Gregg Thompson will talk about the impacts of storm water runoff and share lawn care and landscaping methods that you can use in your yard. Registration information is available here.

When: Wednesday, May 8 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wescott Library, 1340 Wescott Road, Eagan, MN 55123

Talking with other Eagan residents is one of my favorite parts of serving as your representative. Please contact me with any questions, feedback, or concerns at rep.laurie.halverson@house.mn or 651-296-4128.

Sincerely,

Laurie Halverson
State Representative

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