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

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Legislative Update - April 12, 2019

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dear Neighbors,

Another busy week here in St. Paul is coming to a close. After months of public hearings and committee work, we’re shifting our focus towards creating a state budget that reflects our shared Minnesota values. Instead of long hours in committee hearing rooms, we will soon be spending long hours on the House floor.

Minnesota Values Budget

The House and Senate have both announced a framework for the budget – recommendations for how much funding should be allocated to broad areas like education and health and human services – but my House colleagues and I have also released details of our entire Minnesota Values Budget.

Each finance committee has introduced an omnibus finance bill, legislation that combines individual bills and the feedback that we’ve gathered in months of public hearings. After we debate and approve them in committee, budget bills go to the House floor for further discussion and a vote.

Details on the budget bills from each of the committees that I serve on are included below. If you’d like more information on the Minnesota Values Budget, you can start with Speaker Hortman’s Facebook post which has links to each budget bill. Session Daily, a nonpartisan source for news from the legislature, is also an excellent resource.

Protecting Our Environment and Natural Resources

Minnesotans are proud of our environment and outdoor heritage. I’m working with other members of the Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division to preserve and enhance them. Our budget legislation (HF 2209) includes three of my bills: a ban on toxic flame retardant chemicals that endanger the health of fire fighters and children (HF 359), support for No Child Left Inside (HF 133), and an adopt-a-dumpster program to address the outbreak of chronic wasting disease (HF 1720). A MinnPost article about the adopt-a-dumpster measure is available here.

The bill would also strengthen protections for fish, wildlife, and pollinators; improve pollution control efforts; help communities control invasive species including the emerald ash borer; and address the growing problem of what to do with all of the trash that is created by our modern way of life.

Taxes – Leveling the Playing Field

Our tax bill would level the playing field by closing corporate loopholes and investing much of the revenue in Minnesota schools. It reduces taxes for many families, senior citizens, veterans, farmers, and small businesses and simplifies the filing process for everyone. These reforms would make our tax system fairer. If you’d like to learn more about our tax bill, a fact sheet and a breakdown of the numbers is available here.

Support for Veterans

The brave men and women who serve our country deserve our support. Our budget (HF 2086) increases funding for programs and services that help active service members and veterans, including programs to assist with reintegration, prevent veteran homelessness, and address mental health issues. It also includes funding for veterans homes and cemeteries, Minnesota bases, and enlistment and retention bonuses.

I-694 Closure

I-694 will be closed from Victoria Street to Rice Street this weekend for construction on the Rice Street bridge. The closure will be in effect from 10 p.m. Friday, April 12 to 5 a.m. Monday, April 15.

More information on detours and the I-694 interchange reconstruction project is available here.

Go Loons!

As a long time fan of our hometown soccer team, I am very excited to see Minnesota United play their very first game in their new stadium. Allianz Field is just a quick bus ride on the A Line from Rosedale Mall. Go Loons!

Thank you for your interest in the work we do at the Capitol. Please stay in touch during the remaining weeks of the legislative session!

Sincerely,

Jamie

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