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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Fue Lee (DFL)

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Legislative Update - March 3, 2017

Friday, March 03, 2017

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Constituents visiting for Arts Advocacy Day at the Capitol

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Constituents visiting for Building Trades Day at the Capitol

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North Minneapolis students from Patrick Henry and Armstrong High Schools visiting to discuss clean and renewable energy 

Budget Forecast

On Tuesday, February 28, Minnesota Management and Budget announced a forecasted budget surplus of $1.65 billion. The February Economic Forecast revealed that Minnesota continues to have low unemployment and a stable budget.  

While the budget forecast shows our economy is strong, we know that not everyone in our district feels the same economic security. This is a good opportunity for us to reinvest in our public schools, transportation systems, and workers so that members of our community can gain access to good jobs and good benefits like paid leave and earned sick time. With this surplus, we should ensure that this economic prosperity reaches all Minnesotans. 

Legislative Update

Today, I received my first bill hearing on HF 1426. Under this bill, teacher and administrator preparation programs must disaggregate their outcomes—graduation, licensure, employment, and survey results measuring satisfaction with the program—by race. This bill aims to identify what’s working in our teacher preparation programs as it relates to graduating teachers of color.

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The Executive Director of Educators4Excellence and a student from MCTC join me to testify on the bill.  

HF 600 (Preemption)

Yesterday, the Minnesota House passed HF 600 76-53. This bill stops local communities from enacting pro-worker policies such as sick leave, family leave, or a higher minimum wage.  

I voted against this bill because it takes away the hard earned benefits of sick time for hundreds of thousands of working Minnesotans, especially those in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area who organized and worked with our local elected officials and stakeholders for these benefits. 

You can find House Public Information Services’ coverage here.  

Northern Metal Recycling Settlement

Today, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced a settlement with Northern Metal Recycling. The settlement has been submitted to the Ramsey County District Court for final approval. 

Under the settlement, Northern Metal will move their shredder to a non-metro location by August 2019 and pay $2.5 million in costs and penalties, including: 

  • a $1 million civil penalty
  • payment for three years of continued air monitoring near the facility
  • reimbursement to the state for past monitoring costs, court costs, and legal fees
  • $600,000 to the city of Minneapolis for community heath projects to benefit nearby communities 

You can find the MPCA’s coverage here.  

Upcoming Events

People of Color Career Fair

The State of Minnesota and other employers are partnering to close the underemployment and unemployment gap among people of color and indigenous people in the state. The People of Color Career Fair will be held on April 27th at the Minneapolis Convention Center. You can find more information and register here.  

The sponsors and partners for this event are U.S. Bank, Comcast, and the State of Minnesota. Governor Mark Dayton will be at the career fair.  

I encourage you to contact me with any questions, comments, concerns, or ideas on any legislative topic. Also, I am available during select hours on Monday and Friday mornings most weeks for in-district meetings, if Northside residents aren’t able to make it to the Capitol. If you would like to send me a message or set up an in-district meeting, you can reach me by phone at 651-296-4262 or by email at rep.fue.lee@house.mn. I look forward to hearing from you!