Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2020 Legislative Session will undoubtedly be remembered more for COVID-19 then for anything else.
In March, much of our planned policy work for the session took a back seat to the need to respond to the coronavirus and provide emergency relief for our farmers, businesses, and the unemployed.
While we didn't get everything done that we wanted, lawmakers made progress and much of what we accomplished occurred with bi-partisan effort. Highlights for the session include passage of the following bills:
• Tobacco 21, which aligns the state with recent federal law raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products to 21.
• Emergency Insulin, which provides for no or low cost monthly insulin supplies to any Minnesotan who can’t afford this life saving drug.
• Drug price transparency act, which will require drug companies to file detailed reports when drug prices increase. This is a first step in addressing escalating drug costs for consumers.
• Improved election security
All of these bills are important issues for our district and I’m pleased that they gained passage. This past weekend the House also approved bills relating to transportation, public safety, agriculture, and local government.
A bonding bill- which requires a 3/5 majority vote - failed in both the House and Senate. Clearly more compromise is needed before this plan can move forward. A tax bill also did not advance. Considering we must return to the State Capitol in June for a special session to address the Governor's continued emergency powers, there is a strong likelihood these proposals will receive consideration then.
The expected date for special session is June 12, although that could change as the Governor has not yet announced his intentions with respect to timing. Although our regular session is adjourned, my work still continues as I am serving on a special committee to continue our ongoing evaluation of the COVID-19 crisis. I will keep you posted via email updates and through my Facebook page.
And finally, a belated National Police Week recognition to all those in law enforcement. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week. Traditionally, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world converge on Washington, DC to participate in a number of planned events to honor those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve us.
Thank you to all of our police officers for putting your lives on the line every day to protect and serve us!