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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 15, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dear Neighbors,

Below are some recent updates on what I’ve been working on.

Addressing Domestic Violence in Child Custody Cases

Last week the Public Safety Committee heard HF 1654, a bipartisan bill I’m authoring with Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Maple Lake). Our laws already require that family courts take certain violent and child-specific criminal convictions in to account when determining child custody. HF 1654 would add Domestic Assault by Strangulation to that list of criminal offenses. In my work as a domestic violence prosecutor, I have direct experience working on these very serious cases. Strangulation is a felony level offense in Minnesota and is a warning sign of further violence and even homicide.

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Day to End Domestic Violence

Last Tuesday was the Day to End Domestic Violence, a statewide event organized by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women. Over 20 events were held throughout Minnesota to recognize that domestic violence occurs throughout our state. I gave a speech recognizing the day on the House floor, which you may watch here on YouTube.

Reducing Gun Violence

Last week I was visited by constituents involved with a group called Moms Demand Action. Moms Demand Action is a national advocacy group working to make our communities safer by implementing common sense gun policies. These policies include legislation such as HF 1669, which would require background checks on all gun purchases, and HF 1605, which would allow law enforcement or family members to seek Gun Violence Protective Orders to remove firearms from individuals who are at significant risk of harming themselves or others. I am proud to be a co-author of both of these bills.

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Sadly, at the same time we saw two controversial gun bills start to make their way through the committee process. HF 188, the Reckless Carry bill, would end the requirement to first obtain a permit or receive any kind of safety training before being allowed to carry a firearm in public. HF 238, the Shoot First bill, would dramatically expand when it’s legal to shoot and kill someone. Both bills drew considerable public testimony and media attention. I spoke against both of these bills; links to the video can be found here and here.

Lead Poisoning

Last week I participated in a press conference with other legislators regarding our shared initiative to prevent lead poisoning of Minnesotans. These bills include legislation that would require testing of water in both homes and schools.

As I’ve mentioned in previous updates, I am the chief author of HF 1356, which would end the use of lead ammunition for deer hunting and prevent the risk of lead in venison. When lead gets into our food, water, and environment, we risk permanent harm to ourselves and our children. We should take reasonable steps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

It is an honor to be your voice on the issues that matter to you. Please don’t hesitate to contact me about any issues or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

Jamie

P.S: Don’t forget to forward this update to your friends and family. They can sign up to receive these updates here.

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