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

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Legislative Update - March 4, 2020

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Rep. Becker-Finn

Dear neighbors, 

The past two weeks have been incredibly busy as we passed our first bills off the House floor this year! Thankfully we have also had two weekends of great weather. Despite the long hours, I’ve been grateful for time spent outside with my family.

Becker-Finn 3.3 (1)

My dog Aandeg and I recently explored some public land near Lake Owasso.

Alec Smith Insulin Affordability Act

The cost of insulin has tripled in the last 10 years, and it’s forced one in four people with diabetes to ration their insulin. The first bill we passed in the House this session is named after a young Minnesotan who lost his life because he had to ration insulin after aging out of his parents’ health insurance. This bill would help Minnesotans get the insulin they need at a price they can afford in an emergency situation and long-term. It holds insulin manufacturers accountable for inflating the cost of lifesaving medications by requiring them to participate in funding the program.

You can read more about Alec’s Bill and its path forward in a Star Tribune article available here.

Becker-Finn 3.3 (2)

Voter Privacy Protections

The House also passed legislation that addresses voter privacy concerns that some community members have shared with me. The bill, which was recommended by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, supports increased voter privacy in the presidential primary. It places restrictions on data that’s collected during the primary, limits who that data is shared with, and allows voters to choose whether they’d like their information shared with a political party or parties. This change will require agreement from Senate Republicans, but it would take effect before data from the 2020 presidential primary is shared.

My colleagues and I are taking Minnesotans’ concerns seriously and doing all we can to protect voters. If you’d like to read more about the bill we passed, you can read a KSTP piece about it here.

Gun Violence Prevention

Last week the House voted on two gun violence prevention bills – criminal background checks and extreme risk protection orders. Both would help keep guns out of the hands of people who are dangerous to themselves or others. One requires criminal background checks on all gun sales, with common-sense exceptions such as transfers between family members and transfers that occur while hunting or at the range. The other establishes extreme risk protection orders, which allow law enforcement to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to guns if a court of law determines that it may not be safe for them to have a gun. Criminal background checks and extreme risk protection orders are working well in other states, and they’re supported by the vast majority of Minnesotans. As a gun owner, parent and volunteer firearms safety instructor, gun safety and violence prevention are incredibly important to me, and I was proud to support these bills.

You can watch my floor speech on these bills here

Expanded Access to Diaper Changing Stations

In my last e-update, I mentioned that I’m carrying legislation that would make diaper changing stations more accessible. My bill would update the state building code to require changing tables in public restrooms, with access for both men and women. This bill originated with a constituent, and two constituents, who are also moms, came to testify in support of it last week. It’s really rewarding to work so closely with individuals who are willing to share their ideas and efforts to make our communities better.

KARE 11 recently published an article about this bill. You can read it here.

Coronavirus Update

Many community members have asked me what our state government is doing to address the spread of COVID-19, a viral respiratory illness often referred to as the coronavirus. There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Minnesota, but I want to assure you that our state is well prepared to respond to an outbreak. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is currently working with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals and clinics, and the Legislature. More specifics about steps MDH is taking are available here.

There are a few basic precautions we can all take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The best guidance is to take the same precautions you’d use to avoid colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Cover your cough with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand.
  • Stay home when sick.

The best way to stay up to date on this evolving situation is visiting the websites of the MDH and the CDC.

As always, please feel free to contact me with questions and feedback. I look forward to hearing from you and sharing more updates next week!


Jamie Becker-Finn
State Representative

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