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

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Legislative Update - June 27, 2019

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Dear neighbors,

I hope the beginning of summer is treating you well! I want to share some of the new laws that will be going into effect soon and update you on what I’ve been working on lately.

New Laws Taking Effect July 1

Several new laws will go into effect on Monday, July 1. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Several of my bills, including No Child Left Inside and a comprehensive plan to combat CWD, will go into effect as part of the environment and natural resources budget. My summary of this section of the budget was recently published in the Roseville – Little Canada Review. You can read it here.
  • The E-12 education budget, which invests in schools and children of all ages. It increases per-student funding by two percent each year, addresses the rising cost of special education services, and preserves access to voluntary pre-K for 4,000 of Minnesota’s youngest learners.
  • An opioid crisis response bill that holds pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in creating and profiting from the opioid epidemic. Drug manufacturers and distributors will pay higher fees, and the revenue will go towards prevention, treatment, and helping communities keep up with soaring public safety costs.
  • The strongest wage theft prevention and enforcement law in the country, which will ensure that all Minnesotans receive an hour’s pay for an hour’s work.
  • Repealing the marital rape exception, a law that shields people from being charged and prosecuted for criminal sexual assault if they’re married to their victim.
  • The veterans and military affairs budget supports active service members and veterans. It provides more funding for programs to assist with reintegration, veterans’ homes and cemeteries, the Armed Forces Services Center, and enlistment and retention bonuses.
  • Strong investments in the outdoors and the arts, funded by the Legacy Amendment. This legislation maintains and improves parks, trails, and public lands; restores water quality; preserves our state’s history; and expands arts access and education.
  • Funding for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, which will create new opportunities for past, present, and future students. The higher education budget increases benefits for students that are enrolled in the state grant program and expands program eligibility.  

More information about the new laws is available here.

I recently attended a ceremonial signing for my bill that protects children and firefighters from toxic flame-retardant chemicals.

It was an honor to be presented with a fire ax in recognition of my support of firefighters locally and statewide.

Public Informational Meeting: Migrant Children and ICE Raids

In response to the horrific treatment of migrant children and the threat of potential ICE raids across the country, I helped organize a public informational meeting. We’ll share information about the humanitarian crisis occurring at the southern border and how Minnesota families and communities would be impacted by an ICE raid. Information will be provided by community members impacted by the Trump Administration’s policies, immigration attorneys, and legal experts. Live audio of the event will be available here.

When: Friday, June 28 from 9 – 11am
Where: Room 120 – Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul, MN 55155

Rice Street Flooding

Many of you are likely aware of the flooding issues on Rice Street. Many area residents are experiencing unprecedented flooding and damage to their homes and other property. I’ve been working closely with residents to draw attention to the issue and find a solution.

The high water levels also caused traffic issues. Rice Street fully reopened for north and southbound traffic earlier this week. To reduce the chance of future water issues, Ramsey County Public Works plans to raise the height of a short stretch of Rice Street near the railroad bridge. The project will take place in mid-July and is expected to last one week.

The eastbound I-694 off-ramp to Rice Street, westbound I-694 on-ramp from Rice Street, and westbound I-694 off-ramp to Rice Street are still closed for construction of the I-694/Rice Street interchange. The first two are scheduled to reopen in late August. The westbound exit to Rice Street is expected to remain closed through October. More information on this project is available here.

I’d like to thank everyone who attended our town hall meeting earlier this month! Rep. Kelly Moller, Sen. Jason Issacson, and I had a great time talking about the 2019 legislative session and answering questions from community members.

I always appreciate hearing from fellow community members, so please don’t hesitate to email me at rep.jamie.becker-finn@house.mn or call me at 651-296-7153.

Sincerely,

Jamie