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

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Legislative Update - March 15, 2019

Friday, March 15, 2019

Dear neighbors,

Thank you to everyone who attended my town hall with Senator Isaacson earlier this month! The meeting was recorded for those who were unable to join us. I will share the link when it’s available.

21 of my bills have been heard so far this session! It’s impossible to cover the details of all of these proposals in one email, but you can find a full list of the bills that I’m carrying here. More will be heard in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for updates.

Veterans Suicide Awareness

Veterans are at an elevated risk for suicide, and it’s important that we increase public awareness of this issue. On Monday, the House unanimously approved the first bill I’ve ever had on the floor, which establishes the first Saturday of every October as Veteran Suicide Awareness Day (HF 586). Family members of Justin Miller, a U.S. Marine who took his life a year ago, were present for the vote and recognized for their advocacy.

This is just the first step in addressing this issue. I am committed to continue working with veterans and their families to find solutions and provide better support to the brave men and women who serve our country while they are on active duty and after their service ends.

Equal Rights Amendment

The House took a historic step towards achieving full equality under the law last Thursday. We passed legislation (HF 13) that would put the Equal Rights Amendment on the ballot in 2020, giving Minnesotans the opportunity to vote to add the measure to our state constitution. The ERA would ensure equal rights for all Minnesotans, regardless of gender identity.

Firefighter and Children’s Health Protection Act

I recently introduced a bill (HF 359) to ban the use of toxic flame retardants in furniture, upholstery, and children’s products. This would protect firefighters and kids from exposure to unnecessary chemicals. Chris Parsons, president of the Minnesota Professional Fire Fighters, did a great job summarizing why this bill is so important. You can listen to his testimony here. The bill has now passed out of three committees and continues to move forward.

Maintaining the Roseville Oval

The John Rose Minnesota Oval is the largest outdoor refrigerated ice rink in the world and is used by thousands of Minnesotans each year for hockey, speed skating, bandy, and other ice sports. The Oval not only serves local skaters, but is also used as a national training facility for speed skating, including many past and future Olympians. My proposal (HF 1345) would provide funding for needed infrastructure and equipment repairs. Listen to the public hearing for this bill here.

Update on TCE Pollution in Gem Lake

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency announced recently that they have reached a settlement with Water Gremlin following their investigation of chemical emissions from the manufacturing plant. This impacts areas near the Water Gremlin facility, including some residents of Gem Lake. Details about the terms of the settlement are available here.

I have co-authored bipartisan legislation with other legislators who represent the cities affected by the Water Gremlin TCE pollution. HF 2276, chief authored by Rep. Ami Wazlawik, would ban the use of TCE and require manufacturers to replace it with a safer alternative. You can watch the first public hearing for the bill here. I will continue to provide updates and advocate for residents.

I-694/Rice Street Ramp Closures

Work on the I-694/Rice Street interchange will begin next Monday. The eastbound I-694 ramp to Rice Street and the westbound ramp from Rice Street will be closed. Rice Street will remain open throughout the project, which is expected to take several months. More information on the reconstruction, closures, and detours is available here.

Sincerely,

Jamie

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