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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein (DFL)

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Summer update: New policies to take effect

Friday, June 21, 2019
Happy Solstice! It finally feels like summer is in full swing now. If you haven't yet, definitely make sure to check out the New Brighton Farmer's Market

Some (though not all) of the new policies we passed this year will take effect on July 1st. Here's a rundown of a few that begin at the start of the month:
  • House DFLers are committed to keeping Minnesota communities safe. That’s why we took on Big Pharma to hold them accountable to the opioid epidemic. The proposal that will become law on July first establishes a registration fee on pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors that will go toward ending the epidemic.
  • Access to the internet is crucial in today's economy. It's easy to take for granted its use in starting a business, going to school or doing our jobs. Our bill to invest in border-to-border broadband will take effect on July 1st, and for the first time, communities without access to high-speed internet will be able to receive grants. 
  • We made a small investment in recruiting and training teachers of color and Indigenous teachers, but it's a fraction of the investment we need. While 34 percent of our students are students of color, only four percent of teachers are. This is a proven factor in our persistent opportunity gaps, and we'll continue to fight to close it. 
  • Before the passage of the marital rape exemption, Minnesota law shielded rapists from prosecution in certain instances if they were married to their victim. The repeal of this loophole is long overdue and I'm grateful for the bipartisan support this bill received. 

I had my first bill signed into law by Gov. Walz! It is historic legislation that reinforces the ability of the Prairie Island Indian Community's Tribal Police department to enforce state law on tribal lands 

Are you a teacher, or do you know one? The Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program was established to provide student loan repayment assistance to teachers in teacher shortage areas in Minnesota. They're accepting applications now through July 15th! 

Temporary disruptions to your commute
Quick reminder! The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MNDOT) started an I-35W North MnPASS project - they're repaving, reconstructing bridges, installing new noise walls and creating a new MnPASS lane. For three years they will work on I-35 between Co. Rd. C in Roseville and Sunset Ave in Lino Lakes. They expect to be done in the fall of 2021. Stay up to date on the construction and delays, and get their updates here:

I hope you're having a great summer - and please continue to reach out with comments and questions! 


Mary KP
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