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

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Legislative Update - October 31, 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween! My latest update features the latest Water Gremlin developments, as well as updates on Chronic Wasting Disease, I-694 lane closures, Tuesday’s election, and my recent visit to the Shakopee women’s prison.

roseville school meeting

Roseville Area Schools hosts quarterly gatherings of local elected officials to share information and learn more about what is happening in the schools. Jamie recently attended one of these meetings at Edgerton Elementary.

New Water Gremlin Developments

On Monday, October 28, the Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Labor and Industry ordered Water Gremlin to immediately cease operations due to evidence that unsafe working conditions at the company’s plant in White Bear Township caused lead poisoning in workers’ children. Water Gremlin has repeatedly jeopardized the health of Minnesotans and refused to take accountability. I continue to work with community members and other elected officials to address Water Gremlin’s numerous violations and to protect Minnesotans from exposure to dangerous chemicals. You can read my full statement about these new developments here

Ramsey County has created a new webpage with information and resources for Water Gremlin employees who need assistance and have questions. The county has been hosting information sessions at the Vadnais Sports Center, with one additional date tomorrow, Nov. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon at 1490 County Road E East. Additional dates may be added as this situation progresses. Translation assistance is available for employees who need assistance in a language other than English. Free blood tests for lead are available for Water Gremlin employees and their families. Ongoing employment services are available at CareerForce North St. Paul, 2266 2nd St. N., North St. Paul, MN  55109.

JBF speaking at CWD hearing

Joint hearing to address Chronic Wasting Disease

As Minnesotans prepare for the 2019 deer hunting firearms season, the Minnesota House and Senate environment and natural resources committees held a joint hearing this week to receive an update about Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Experts from the Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, Board of Animal Health, and the University of Minnesota joined us for this important discussion. You can watch a video replay of the entire hearing here and review the following informational resources to learn more: 

Department of Natural Resources presentation

University of Minnesota presentation

University of Minnesota handout 1 

University of Minnesota handout 2

JBF at shakopee womens prison

My visit to the Shakopee Women’s Prison

On Tuesday, I joined Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan and Department of Corrections Commissioner Tom Schnell for a visit to Minnesota Correctional Facility - Shakopee, where female offenders serve their sentences. We held listening sessions with inmates and staff. I was heartbroken to learn that our current policies force the separation of newborn babies from their mothers within 36-48 hours after birth. To learn more, read this coverage from the Star Tribune

I am hopeful that our visit will bring attention to the children of incarcerated parents, including my “Mama’s Bus” bill that would provide transportation for children to visit their mothers at Shakopee. Research shows better outcomes for children AND their parents when they are able to maintain relationships while a parent is incarcerated, including lower recidivism rates.

Plan ahead for I-694 lane closures this weekend

Lane closures will be in place on east and westbound I-694 between Victoria Street in Shoreview and I-35E in Little Canada and Vadnais Heights this weekend for median work related to the I-694/Rice Street interchange reconstruction. The far-left lanes next to the center median will be closed in each direction. The center and right lanes will remain open. The closures are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Friday and end by 6 a.m. Monday.

Motorists should prepare for traffic backups and use alternate routes when possible. Call 511 or visit for updates on state road conditions.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 5!

I’ll be exercising my right to vote and I hope you do, too! Check Ramsey County’s elections webpage for information and answers to common questions. If you are not registered to vote, you can do so at your polling place or online at the Secretary of State’s website. Early voting is available now through Monday. Locations and times can be found here

There are important items on the ballot no matter where you live in our district, including Ramsey County Commissioner special election, school board races, and school bond referendums.

I appreciate feedback from constituents, so please don’t hesitate to share any questions or concerns.


Jamie Becker-Finn 
State Representative 

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